SO MANY things contribute to a brand’s success – from the intangible allure of a fabric, to the unarguable sway of social media posts – but few items are so clearly responsible for improving a label’s fortunes as theValentino Rockstud shoe. So ubiquitous on street-style favourites that its subtle hardware is identifiable even by those who have never seen a Rockstud in the flesh, the shoes have continually sold out in every incarnation since their launch in 2010, and the company’s revenues have doubled since their inception.
More than just coincidence, the growth has been carefully coordinated by co-creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuriand Pierpaolo Piccioli, who are both veteran accessories designers by trade. Like Mulberry, which recently hired Celine accessories designer Johnny Coco as its new creative director, and Gucci, which promoted in-house accessories director Alessandro Michele to its helm, brands’ focus on the category – which allows aspirational customers to pick up a piece of the aesthetic – is known to pay dividends. Last year saw Valentino’s revenues up by 36 per cent, with half of all sales coming from accessories.
“We think that now the designer has to find a new balance,” Chiuri toldStyle.com. “Women now want something special, but to use every day – not only for special occasions.”
“Valentino is a couture brand,” Piccioli added, “and that’s something that we’ve really wanted to keep from the very beginning in our contemporary world. We’re concentrating on an effortless elegance, so it’s like wearing couture with a street attitude.”