How Rocco Valentine, a multi-talented creative, established himself
Hard work pays off, the old saying goes. But New York designer Rocco Valentine can attest to that, being living proof that deep determination and drive can take a person’s place. During his nine years in the fashion industry, Valentine’s leading talents and passion have cemented him as one of the best stylists in the world, although his history shows that it is not not really the destination, but the journey.
Raised in a quaint ocean town in Connecticut, Valentine’s love for fashion came almost by accident. The designer was studying psychology at Lasell University in Boston when the school’s small fashion program caught his attention, prompting him to immediately change direction and never look back. Valentine’s internal spark for the industry happened almost simultaneously with his growth in his queer identity, something the stylist wasn’t fully aware of until he was out of his small town and let him create his own life.
With her newfound passion, Valentine began working hard to make a name for herself in the industry. The burgeoning creative would skip class to catch a four-and-a-half-hour bus to Manhattan for the chance to work behind the scenes at the parades, before heading back to Boston in the evening. His love for fashion and for himself truly cemented after a study abroad trip to Italy, known as one of the hot spots in the sartorial world, by stepping off the plane and saying to himself “It’s time to leave”.
Valentine’s first official foray into styling began when BB brand Dakota began sending him boxes of clothes to work, giving him a deeper insight into his chosen path.
âIt was my first chance to put clothes on a woman and understand how she was supposed to fit and feel, and what she was supposed to look like,â recalls the New York-based stylist. ” I will never forget him ; it was the basis for the rest of my career.
After graduating, Valentine and one of her best friends took a two-week trip across the country to Los Angeles, which looked like “a movie,” he says.
âThe whole trip was a conversation between the two of us, like ‘we’re terrified, but this is going to change our lives,'” explained Valentine.
And that’s what he did. Valentine started running in Los Angeles, working as an assistant stylist for e-commerce fashion brands, and sometimes alone for lower-ranking celebrities. The designer credits this period of time for teaching him why certain pieces are used in a shoot from the perspective of buyers and designers, how to collaborate with brands, shoot showrooms and work to the best of his ability. But more importantly, it taught Valentine that he doesn’t care about the superficial ‘who’s-who’ of the person he dresses – but how he dresses them.
Armed with this new information, Valentine returned to his roots on the East Coast in 2014 when he moved to New York City, where he has remained ever since. After a brief stint in retail at the hugely popular Reformation, Valentine came under the wing of respected fashion designer Brianna Lance, whose hands-on mentorship helped pave the way for her own career.
Thanks to her time with Lance, popular brand Urban Outfitters brought in Valentine to lead the styling for their own e-commerce and editorial sessions. He quickly made a name for himself by elevating the e-merchant to new heights with his discerning eye, fully engaging in the e-commerce aspect of the styling industry that is often overlooked by his fellow stylists, at profit from their pursuit of fame with famous clients. Always focused on the smallest details of things, Valentine’s commitment to quality work has allowed her to proudly fill this space in the industry, winning her countless clients in the process.
With everything he learned from his years of experience in the fashion industry, Valentine launched Inez Valentine Swimwear with co-founder Brianca Ubeda in the summer of 2020 when he was in the midst of the madness. of the covid-19 pandemic, bringing the respective gays and gays to the pair. Latin identities are deeply rooted in the ethics of the brand. The sustainable brand, which uses fabrics made from recycled plastics, quickly made a splash around the world for its beautiful and tasteful designs, winning a multitude of fans.
As an indisputable success, Rocco Valentine is a walking testimony that passion and perseverance can take you. With more exciting projects underway, all eyes are on Valentine to see what the creative dreams of next.