June 8, 2017
May 30, 2017
By Christina Clemente | June 1, 2017 | Style & Beauty
New York designer (and winter-season hit) Valentina Kova extends her Aspen residency and adds a new exclusive collection.
Katya silk charmeuse blouse ($1,320) and Maxime pants ($1,200).
Valentina Kova’s eponymous line of luxury womenswear and fine jewelry has caught the eye of celebrities like Julianne Moore (or “Julie,” as Kova calls her) and Jane Fonda, is sold overseas in France and Japan, and is partially manufactured in the same Italian factory as products from Hermès and Chanel (all the rest is made in the USA). But to the 30-something designer, her most significant accomplishment since founding her brand five years ago in New York City’s Garment District (where all of her wares are designed) was opening her first boutique—in Aspen.
“I fell in love with the community, with nature, with the creative things that Aspen offered me,” says Kova, who after a four-month residency this winter has decided to extend the temporary shop’s stay through the summer, from June 17 to September 15. “We felt like we already made so many friends and explored so many venues, so why not take this journey a little bit further?” When deciding where to open a retail store to join the brand’s by-appointment atelier in New York and multiple wholesalers around the country, Kova considered factors like pedestrian traffic, level of international exposure, and overall sense of community.
Valentina Kova’s Mill Street boutique.
“We did extensive research, and Aspen was one of the cities that came up,” says the Russian-born designer. Clearly it was the right choice: “We had a really good response to our products from clients who have houses in Aspen, but also from people who come and go, and we just felt that winter didn’t offer us enough exposure.” As she did for the first residency, Kova will create pieces exclusive to Aspen—only this time, instead of fur jackets and cashmere frocks, the line will be based on lighter materials like cotton and linen. “There’s so much going on in a place like Aspen in the summer— people go for a walk, go to the farmers market, they have lunch,” says Kova. “We’re thinking of what uniform this woman wants.”
The store will also offer all-season items, in keeping with both the brand’s DNA and the fashion sensibility of Aspen’s shoppers, whom Kova refers to as “international women”: “She needs clothes that are great for different climates, great for travel.” Also exclusive to the residency will be 100 different colorways (as opposed to the few available online) for every item in the brand’s Icon Collection, an everyday-luxury line of sculptural dresses, skirts, vests, and jackets, offering Aspenites a special bespoke experience. “We want [shoppers] to come in and customize,” Kova says. “What we create is a wardrobe.” 208 S. Mill St., 970-710-7631
PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELIX WONG (S/S17 COLLECTION, BOUTIQUE). HAIR BY TAKAYUKI SHIBATA. MAKEUP BY DAVID TIBOLLA.
MODEL: TIANA PERRY (S/S17 COLLECTION). STYLING/ART DIRECTION BY SAYURI MURAKAMI (ALL IMAGES)