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Seam and Heard: Kerry Clarkson Valdivia, Designer of Marcello Toshi Creazioni

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Good-bye Italy, hello Peru. Usually not the first country that pops into our mind when thinking of luxury leatherwear, it did for Kerry Clarkson Valdivia (a British-Peruvian mix) of Marcello Toshi Creazioni. As a result, she is redefining the term handmade (uses a fraction of the machines used in Italy), limited edition (only 150 pairs per style), and exclusivity (yes, she will customize or even create a style for you). What more can you ask for? A sale. And here it is: 40% off the summer styles.

What inspired your latest collection?
This collection was an evolvement of themes from past seasons? layered textures, graphic silhouettes and dramatic lines, combined with rich understated colors in wine, navy, pewter, and chocolate. The idea is always to draw the eye down to the feet with drastic dropping curves that highlight and emphasize the arc and curvature of the foot, as well as revealing sensual peeks of skin.

Who’s the quintessential Marcello Toshi woman?
She’s a subtle revolutionary who is worldly and makes conscious choices in her purchases. She’s an evolved human being who knows that what she wears on the outside symbolizes what she is on the inside, and she instinctively chooses bold, beautiful statement pieces that reflect her rich internal world.

Who’s your favorite LA designer?
Right now, I really love Nuj Novakhett. She is actually from Thailand but she’s represented here in LA.

Who’s your favorite designer overall?
I love Ann Demeulemeester for her deconstructed art-pieces and philosophy. I have a gorgeous jacket of hers that can be worn in about 20 ways; it's constructed with ties and buttons to change the shape and style. I actually love all of the Antwerp 6, for their vision and precision.

What are the advantages of working in LA over working in NYC?
LA is fresh! It’s not as fashion savvy as NYC, so there’s less snobbery about it. There’s room for expansion.

What’s your go-to shopping spot in LA?
I love all the second-hand and vintage stores—my favorite has to be Sielian's on Melrose. She hand-picks every piece in there.

What’s the season’s must-have item?
As soon as it becomes must-have, it’s probably not worth having! Originality is key.

The season’s-not-under-any-circumstances – don’t care if you’re Natalie Portman or Milla Jovovich – have item?
Sadly, I think LA is a little too celebrity-based (understatement). A thriving fashion scene develops where there is no one ‘icon’ or role model, but a fusion of multi-level inspirations that each individual tailors to themselves.

Marcello Toshi Creazioni is available online. Photos by Christina von Messling.