The iconic Italian design house Valentino has joined The Galleria's "luxury row" with a lavish store that belies the notion that times are tough. The front part of the boutique is filled with accessories — at the grand opening, visitors were greeting by a wall of handbags in Valentino's iconic red color — and the back of the store has a sizable sampling of women's ready-to-wear clothing and a smaller grouping of menswear.
Since Valentino retired, the fashion house has floundered. But new owners recently brought back Carlos Souza, who had been the designer's right hand man for more than 20 years, to head up public relations in the United States and recapture some of that Valentino magic. Souza almost immediately flew to Houston for a party at the store hosted by his friend Lynn Wyatt.