Keni Valenti, known as the “King of Vintage Couture” to celebrities, editors and design houses around the globe. He opened the city’s first fashion art gallery in Wynwood during the district’s Art Walk.
The gallery is at Northwest Second Avenue and 26th Street. Named after its owner, its only signage is a giant black-and-white mural of Yves Saint Laurent outside the gallery, representing the first designer in Valenti’s exhibit.
The exhibit includes decades of Yves Saint Laurent apparel, photographs, lithographs, jewelry, hats and accessories — all from Valenti’s private collection, which includes more than 10,000 articles of couture designers.
There’s Les Smoking, worn by James Franco on the cover of Candy Magazine in October 2010, the infamous Safari Suit and hat worn by the legendary Verushka in 1968, a few pieces from the Tryolean and Russian collection, power suits from the ‘80s that Valenti calls very “Ivana Trump.” And what he refers to as his showstopper: a 1959 Dior Couture evening gown from the Ballet Russes collection also shot for Italian Vogue by Steven Meisel.
Valenti have been collecting vintage for 30 years, but not regular vintage. He’s also working on setting up lectures and having guest speakers come to teach people about the different exhibits.
Presenting fashion in our society is always changing because there’s always a room for improvement. People would always want something different, sometimes we like something fresh or unique. But classics or vintage never goes out of style.