Giambattista Valli joins haute couture club

Italian designer Giambattista Valli is to join the exclusive club of haute couture fashion, showing a spring-summer collection in Paris next month, organisers said Monday.

Giambattista Valli
Giambattista Valli's spring 2012 show, Photo: Corbis Images

A Paris commission including existing haute couture labels has awarded the 45-year-old designer the coveted appellation, France's fashion federation said in a statement ahead of the January 23-26 shows.

Haute couture exists only in Paris, where it is a legally protected appellation subject to strict criteria such as the amount of work carried out by hand, the limited number of pieces and the size of a house's workforce.

Valli showed a first couture collection in Paris in July, as a guest member invited by existing couture houses.

Trained at Italy's European Design Institute and London's Saint Martin's School of Arts, Valli started out at Roberto Capucci, moving to Fendi and Emanuel Ungaro, where he was art director of ready-to-wear, before launching on his own in 2005.

Only a handful of major French houses show under the couture label -- Chanel, Dior, Gaultier and Givenchy -- joined by a number of smaller houses, as well as Italians Valentino, Armani and Versace, and Lebanon's Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz.

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