The spike heel was created in Materdei

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A high-flying life in fashion that started at ground level. The history of Valentino footwear began in the early 1900s when Vincenzo Valentino’s shoes were acclaimed all over Europe for the quality of their materials, their craftsmanship, their brilliant finish and use of semi-precious stones like amethyst, coral and jade. In the 1950s under the control of Vincenzo’s son Mario, the Valentino Shoes Company led the world in comfort and elegance as Mario upgraded standards and opened new premises in Materdei in the centre ofNaples. Here he invented the spike heel accompanied by soft leather shoulder bags, while his other shoes, from velvet high heels to satin clogs and colourful pumps and sandals, all had matching bags with chains braided into the stitched leather.[charme-gallery]

The success of the Mario Valentino brand (look for the three Valentino logos on all its products) can be attributed to its strong design features and the teamwork of the specialised designers.Naples remains the centre of Mario Valentino’s operations and it is here that the latest ladies’ stiletto-heeled evening creations can be viewed in the classic black, gold, silver and bronze, while the men’s section includes some “evergreen” models in tough, hand-stitched leather for work and leisure. [charme-gallery]The prestigious business is now managed by the intuitive Vincenzo Valentino aided by his children Bianca, Maria, Vincenzo and Giulia who will be the next generation of management. For Asian markets and the UAE, the firm also creates fabric garments and the 2008 collections include pastel colours, nuances of deep brown for purses and large handbags with high-tech embellishments, special stitching and bronze inserts. In the ladies footwear sector the regular shapes and 5 cm heels are accompanied by sophisticated “cult” models with soaring 10 cm heels, special laces, embroidery and other refinements such as Swarovski crystal for special evening wear.