On a recent trip to New York, the ever dapper fashion designer Valentino – a native Italian who shows in Paris - dropped by the Martha Stewart show. Why? To whip up a lil’ pasta with the tastefully, Valentino-camel-cardigan-clad doyenne of domesticity in her equally tasteful drab-hued studio (which is painted in a shade from her line of eponymous paints known as Bedford Gray). Apparently it’s good to be Valentino, as the birth of his Rigatoni alla Portofino proves. "I was on my boat in Portofino in Liguria — it's the place of pesto," Valentino explained to Ms. Martha. "One day, I asked my cook, ‘Why can't we mix tomato sauce and pesto?' And so we did it." Naturally, a good pasta requires an accompanying vino, and the couturier came prepared with a few bottles of red.
What’s interesting about this appearance - which didn’t ostensibly occur for the normal raisons d’promotion of some new product – is that it demonstrates the continued influence of lifestyle marketing & branding on the fashion business. Full-fledged fashion success now relies on catering to all the other areas of people’s lives that require designing and curating – from cooking, to music, entertaining, vacationing, and even just relaxing. Smart designers have grasped this reality and realize that fashion success is almost a by-product of the lifestyle part of the business; in order to peddle the vast quantities of accessories & perfumes that fund their wealthy empires (and high flying ways), creating a lifestyle brand is pretty much de rigeur. (via WWD)
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- Lesley Scott