Designer Alvin Valley was once known in as the “King of Pants”. As a Latino man who was born in New York to Cuban parents, he says he understands well who really wears the pants—women. Launching a new website this week, Valley will offer 36 semi-custom styles for women. He’s reduced the price from the old days of 2001, when he was selling dozens of pairs at $425 each, but times have changed.
Beginning with a small store in Miami in 1995, and quickly growing to sell in New York in 1999, and then Los Angeles in 2001, Valley’s business took off quickly.
At one time gracing the bottom halves of such power women as Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Eva Mendes, Kate Middleton, Jennifer Lopez, and Eva Longoria, Valley’s story is not new. A business implodes, gets bought by a huge company who dilutes the brand with a lower line, eventually quality and design suffers, and things fall apart.
A few years ago, after Valley sold half of his label to the Moret Group, and they had stopped producing his pants, he moved to Miami and took some time off to breathe and re-boot. This past May, Valley met a man who would bring him back from oblivion. He found a new business partner. Private equity investor Alex Dulac would buy Valley’s trademark and re-brand it with a new concept—exclusive online—semi-custom Valley pants.
Culturally, when you grow up around Latinas, you understand a different point of view of women and power. No matter what, you can still be sexy while powerful and that’s innate in the cut and silhouette of these pants.
- Alvin Valley
Two years in the making, the online site has been under construction, based on the straightforward idea that Valley be the first designer-brand, driven solely by online sales.
Dulac, now the CEO of Valley’s line, describes himself as New York-born, but culturally Parisian. He says the new concept is consumer centric. The all-occasion pants will be made in New York with fabrics sourced from Italy. Offering a broad range of styles meant to fit a variety of body types—from Gwyneth Paltrow to Kim Kardashian.
“With typical shipping times and tailors on-hand, we’re delivering a great product with wonderful consumer service. We want to create our own conversation with our consumer. It’s a more discerning client,” Dulac said. “We’ll be teaching them about in-seams, and they can buy hemmed or un-hemmed. Incorporating Alvin’s high fashion point of view with good service, there’s no reason to go anywhere else for pants.”
Today, women can find Valley’s pants at alvinvalley.com, ranging in price from $195 to $295. Some are cropped and some flared, but since the trends show there’ll be a high demand for menswear inspired looks for Fall 2012, Valley’s designs couldn’t be a more prescient or more in touch with what women need.
“Culturally, when you grow up around Latinas, you understand a different point of view of women and power. No matter what, you can still be sexy while powerful and that’s innate in the cut and silhouette of these pants,” Valley said. “When clients put on my pants they feel empowered. I don’t feel they should look less attractive when they’re in the workplace with men.”
Rebekah Sager is a nationally published lifestyle and culture writer. She's a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. Follow Rebekah on Twitter @Rebekah_Sager.