Not long after Maison Valentino announced that it would be a major sponsor at this year’s Venice Biennale 2022 (which kicks off this month till end November), the couture house continues in its efforts to champion the arts through a cross-collaboration with a trio of talented young artists.
As part of a new Valentino On Canvas advertising campaign to promote the newly-launched Valentino Garavani One Stud handbag — which made its debut at the maison’s spring/summer 2022 Valentino Rendez-Vous collection show — the artists applied paintbrush to canvas to creatively and freely interpret the new It bag through their eyes.
An initiative led by the maison’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino On Canvas chose these artists for their unique surrealist art and vibrant use of colour, which works perfectly for the bag’s Ultra Green model — the variant used for their canvas creations.
No stranger to the designer label as he has worked with them before, San Francisco-based Mexican-American Emilio Villalba is known for art that addresses the varied anxieties of modern life. “The inspiration for my painting for Valentino started with the bag. I wanted the composition to support the bag while still tied to my overall narrative,” he says.
Villalba adds: “My paintings often include subjects that are in my daily life, whether they are people or objects that I live with or things found on my daily walks. Each individual item was painted with love and oriented in a way to support the overall flow of the composition. Repetition in my work is a common theme, most of the objects in this piece have been painted before, I find it interesting to see how the objects evolve over time, either becoming more complex in form or minimal the more I paint them.”
Paris-based Olga Pothipirom — professionally known as Oh De Laval — is a Polish-Thai mix who likes to capture the absurd elements of human interaction. “The most important quality that my painting and the Valentino Garavani One Stud Bag share is a strong first impression. Then comes the col- ours, the details and the classic touch. This is a beautiful initiative that integrates fashion and art which I’ve entitled Broken girls blossom into warriors. It should make you feel as powerful as carrying the bag. Both are statement pieces that you’ll think about long after you’ll see it,” says Oh De Laval.
Colombian-born but Barcelona-based Giorgio Celin — who is known for his dazzling figurative paintings — tends to explore themes including migration, belonging, relationships and nostalgia. “In my paintings I love to play with clothes. Being from an immigrant/working class family, I was always very conscious about the power of garments and how you can change people’s perspective on you just from the things you are wearing. I was happy to have the opportunity to paint one of my characters in association with a big brand like Valentino and to be the first Colombian to be part of this project,” says Celin.
Valentino’s Piccioli says the creative exchange between art and fashion is another mode of communication for the brand which he hopes will touch the consumer in a more emotive way. And what better product to transform into a striking piece of art than the One Stud handbag, available in seven fun wearable shades?
A reinterpretation of the house’s iconic stud design (seen on everything from shoes to leather goods), and expansion of the Valentino Garavani Roman Stud range, the One Stud bag is exquisitely crafted in soft lightweight nappa lambskin leather with hidden seams concealed by reverse stitching. To contrast the matte effect of the leather, the bag is accented with metallic elements such as the very large antique-brass maxi stud (which doubles up as a magnetic closure) and slinky chain strap.
Small as it may seem (19 cm wide and 14 cm high), the bag is surprisingly roomy with accordion-like compartments, but for those looking for something even smaller, there is a micro version available.