Carmen Marc Valvo
In 1989 Carmen Marc Valvo set out on a path that would unknowingly lead him to found his eponymous label
and become one of 7th avenue most steadfast independent brands. He has been exploring his soul’s
desire to bring glamorous dressing to every woman’s life ever since. His elegant eveningwear is
now a staple at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Bergdorf Goodman,
and countless other specialty stores nationally and internationally. TIME Magazine stood up
and took notice of Carmen after his Fall 2005 collection in a feature story saying “While
other designers seek to shock, Valvo’s creations shine in the marketplace.” His label now
appears on grand couture gowns and slinky cocktail dresses, his swimwear is a best seller at
Victoria’s Secret, sunglasses / eyewear, lingerie, home décor (launching Spring 2009) and his
first collection of evening bags (launching Fall 2009), rounding out the designer’s extensive
Along the way, his designs have ended up on some of the World’s most sophisticated, talented,
and glamorous women. From HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, Katie Couric,
Leona Lewis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vanessa Williams, Kate Winslet, Eva Longoria, and Mary J. Blige
just to name a few, to fashionable films such as this season’s hit Confessions of a Shopaholic.
Carmen has proven to be a dedicated scholar of his craft, carefully honing his skills to master
the fine art of cutting and draping fabric to enhance the female physique so that every customer
feels like a star on the red carpet when they walk into a room wearing one of his creations.
Valvo grew up in a traditional Spanish/Italian family in Westchester County, New York.
His artistic spirit revealed itself early on, when he developed a passion for oil painting
and crafted opulent medieval costumes for his sister for a school project. But it wouldn’t
be until much later that he would even consider becoming a designer. “I honestly didn’t
think it was a real profession,” he admits.
His father worked as an anesthesiologist and his mother as a nurse, so it is not surprising
that they hoped he would one day join the medical profession, specifically as a plastic surgeon.
But after volunteering to work a few sessions in the ER, he turned, instead, to a
degree in Fine Arts at Manhattanville College. After spending a few years traveling in Europe —
exploring the rich cultural tapestry and becoming proficient in several languages — a car accident
would force Valvo to return to the United States but allowed him to set his sites on a career in
fashion. After his recovery, he enrolled at Parsons School of Design in New York.
Valvo’s professional career began as a ready to wear designer for Nina Ricci in Paris, followed by
a stint at Christian Dior. But by 1989 he was ready to launch his own label. With only a
few thousand dollars, Valvo fearlessly pulled together a collection to show to department
and specialty stores at the fall market in New York. His sportswear was an instant success
and was bought into several top stores, but it was his eveningwear, his true passion,
that captured the hearts of buyers at both Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.
Having established a solid reputation with his Collection line, Valvo launched Carmen Marc Valvo
Couture in 1998, in response to overwhelming demand from his celebrity and VIP clients,
who wanted original Carmen Marc Valvo creations that would set them apart from the fashion pack.
The Couture collection is presented twice a year during the New York Fashion Week. These lavish
presentations highlight the extraordinary craftsmanship and painstaking hand-detailing that place
the Couture collection in a league of its own. The world of Carmen Marc Valvo also includes CMV
by Carmen Marc Valvo, and a popular swimwear collection.
Carmen is an Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) Ambassador and has given both his time and
money to the organization, which has helped raise Millions of dollars for Colon Cancer Research.
Carmen has always utilized his designs to help with many causes over the years, but especially
the NCCRA (National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance). As a colon cancer survivor, Carmen
Marc Valvo has been working with Katie Couric, since she partnered with 7th on Sixth in 2004,
to bring attention and support of research of this deadly disease. His efforts, on behalf of
the organization, were honored at a gala in March 2006 in New York where Carmen received the
first ever Advocate Award from Katie Couric. In 2008 Carmen appeared with his dear friend Vanessa
Williams in a national broadcast and print public service campaign to encourage early
screening for colon cancer.
And while Valvo’s parents may have been on the right track when they imagined their son making
women more beautiful (albeit through a career in plastic surgery), they could have hardly
imagined he would realize this dream with a needle and thread rather than a scalpel. But
it is Valvo’s superb tailoring, understanding of fit issues and masterful detailing that
have distinguished him from his peers. Women’s Wear Daily perhaps said it best “Over the
years, the designer has demonstrated the talent to do it all.”
Read more about Carmen on Wikipedia.