Buyer's Guide

What is the difference between Valentino and Valentino Bags? 

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the two Italian brands. Around the authenticity and whether or not Valentino bags are still a luxury brand. 

There has also been a lot of animosity between the two brands in recent years, so here we’re digging into what is the difference is between Valentino and Valentino bags, covering everything you need to know… 

Valentino Bags


When were Valentino and Valentino Bags founded?

Starting with Valentino Bags, which was in fact founded before Valentino, the brand was established in the early 1950s by Father Vincenzo in Naples. The name was changed to Mario Valentino when his son later took over the business, so when we refer to Mario Valentino that is in fact Valentino bags. Initially, a leather shoe brand, the designer continued to create leather goods until Karl Lagerfeld and Georgia Armani came on board as designers in the 70s and 80s. The brand soared in popularity aided by sophisticated advertorials shot by photographers such as Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe. 

Eight years later in 1960 Rome, Valentino Garavani founded the fashion house, Valentino. This fashion house was a prestige brand and became known for its red dresses. The bright shade that later became known in the fashion industry as ‘Valentino Red’. 

Looking closely at the difference in styles, Valentino Garavani is the more well-known international famous house. Known for dressing women such as Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Lauren in beautiful, high-end luxury fashion that competes with powerhouses such as Chanel and Dior. 

Is Valentino Bags a luxury brand?

The main difference between Valentino and Valentino bags is Mario Valentino is a premium brand that creates a dynamic and varied wardrobe. Rather than focusing on form, they steer towards a leather look and with a punchier, fun take on women’s fashion. It is an aspirational yet attainable brand in comparison to Valentino which is considered a high-level luxury brand. The brand is in line with brands such as Calvin Klein, HUGO and Tommy Hilfiger

Valentino Bags


Why is there a disagreement between Valentino and Valentino Bags?

This original agreement permitted both brands to trade under the Valentino name without either party amending their image. However, after 40 years of co-existing peacefully, Valentino Garavani filed a lawsuit against Mario Valentino. It stated the brand was selling look-alike bags and deliberately trying to hide the fact their bags are licensed by them instead of Valentino Garavani.

Where are Mario Valentino bags made?

 Since opening his studio their headquarters have remained in Naples, Italy. It has become one of the leading manufacturers of leather goods in shoes, accessories and haute couture

Valentino Bags


Do Mario Valentino bags have serial numbers?

On newer products, particularly bags, you can find a serial number that should correspond with the paperwork you received. 

What do the bags come in?

 It comes carefully wrapped in a dust bag to keep it in pristine condition. 

Valentino Bags Styles

  • Luito 

Luito bags that are finished in the repeated logo pattern across the bags. There is a shopper, tote and camera style to pick from.

  • Piccadilly 

The Piccadilly bags features a flap closure and metal branding that suspends a chain tassel detailing.

  • Davina 

The Davina bags feature a flap closure with a metal V brand detailing. That then suspends their statement chain tassel feature.

Shoes & Accessories

Valentino Bags specialise in other leather goods such as footwear and accessories such as wallets and belts. They are perfect for building a versatile wardrobe or as a thoughtful gift.


Written by Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Writer and expert