Craft / August 2018

Valore: Where British Design Meets Italian Craftsmanship

Matthew-Stratton Rouge is the man behind Valore London, where British design brilliance and Italian crafting expertise intersect to create stylish bags and accessories.

Valore's calf leather Barouch holdall

Good design is inscribed onto the DNA of Matthew-Stratton Rouge; one of his grandparents designed luggage for the luxury market, the other was the genius behind many of the most iconic sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s: a golden age for both luxury travel and transport. Given this creative pedigree, it’s safe to say that when Matthew-Stratton started his own brand, Valore London, its success was written in the stars.

Matthew-Stratton has been designing all his life, and has always been an advocate of getting the process just right. This focus means that Valore is in constant evolution – always pushing boundaries and experimenting in order to continue to refine and build on perfection, in its quest to “create an icon, a bag that was instantly recognisable and which would set a standard in quality and design”. Valore is part of this broader process, this pursuit of the sublime: its fusion of tradition with leading-edge technology is the means by which Matthew-Stratton’s goal can be achieved.

Another consequence of Stratton's concept of Valore as process is that the scope of the brand extends far beyond the mere end-product. “Valore is based on sustainable values, it incorporates references to classic principles of scaling both as a design and as a business. It seeks to offer value for the customer with a sustainable return for artisans and producers who combine to produce this exceptional product that will stay relevant, stylish and essential over many years to come. Valore designs its products to last for decades, with the patina of age and use adding to the simplicity associated with owning and using a premium product.” There is an unmistakable intelligence about Matthew that finds its voice in his approach to both business and design, which is centred on quality and longevity; a crucial attitude in an era so often characterised by uncertainty and flux, particularly in the trend-dominated fashion industry.

Valore works with carefully selected Italian artisans and workers who in turn “appreciate the quality of the materials and the classic simplicity of the execution of the design brief. They often say how happy working with the Valore team makes them. The currency of this transaction is mutual respect.” There is a symmetry about Valore’s production process, an equilibrium or a “conspiracy of utility” that extends backwards and forwards in time, ensuring a long product life at one end, and the continuation of local Italian craft at the other.

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Desmond Huthwaite

Copywriter at The Rake