Beauty knows no pain. Not if you ask designer Carmen Marc Valvo, who isn’t about to let women step into a pair of pumps that pinch. “Comfort’s a No. 1 priority,” Valvo said about his collections, a collaboration with H.H. Brown. The two lines — Carmen Marc Valvo, retailing for $75 to $185, and Carmen Marc Valvo Calzature, for $375 to $500 — both feature heel-to-toe cushioning.
Here, he shares his footwear picks for next spring, the challenges of designing shoes and how to stylishly ring in the new year.
What’s more challenging: designing shoes or apparel?
CMV: Shoes. The lasts are so expensive. In order to create a new one, you have to amortize the cost. You have to make sure you can use it over and over again. [Therefore], I have to think carefully how to make [each] shoe more special. It has my DNA without getting too crazy.
Name some of your style muses throughout your career.
CMV: Claire McCardell is one of my favorite designers of all time. She had to work with affordable fabrications [during] World War II. Since she was limited, she used seersucker and inexpensive madras. Within confines, creativity can blossom.
What are the three must-have looks in a women’s shoe closet for spring ’15?
CMV: Something with a mid-heel range [such as] a black stacked heel. Next, a classic pump. I like the way they look these days — sexy and modern. Then a pair of sandals, maybe mixing metallic with cork or black so you can dress it up or down.
You’re known for evening wear. How would you dress a woman for New Year’s Eve and where would you celebrate?
CMV: A cocktail dress in black or metallic. If it’s black, it needs a super-sexy sandal in silver. If it’s silver, a sandal in a color such as red. It should be fine, since she’s celebrating the new year. The best place to celebrate is someone’s home overlooking Central Park. The fireworks over the park are one of the most incredible displays.