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We’ve Moved!

February 23, 2010
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We are very pleased to announce the launch of our interim website and the new home for our blog:  http://www.antoniovalente.ca and http://www.antoniovalente.ca/blog.

Please redirect your website links, feeds, etc. to that address. We are looking forward to seeing you over there soon!

Thanks

Antonio, Joseph and Ross

Date Movie Rentals: Top 5 “Chick Flicks”

February 10, 2010

Valentine’s Day is almost here and I’d like to do my part in sparking a bit of romance. I have it on a very good authority that any of the top 5 chick flicks movie rentals will score big points with a date. The list’s honourable mention is North and South (2004), starring Richard Armitage.

No. 5

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Starring Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Denzel Washington & Keanu Reeves

Directed by Kenneth Branagh

No. 4

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Starring Audrey Hepburn & George Peppard

Directed by Blake Edwards

No. 3

When Harry Met Sally

Starring Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan & Carrie Fisher

Directed by Rob Reiner

No. 2

Pride and Prejudice (1995, TV Mini-Series)

Starring Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle

No. 1

Amelie

Starring Audrey Tautou

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Valentine’s Day Roses: Choosing the Right Colour

February 9, 2010

When romancing your partner for Valentine’s Day, you may want to use the ever reliable bouquet of roses. When choosing roses, keep in mind that the colour is just as important as the gesture. Have a look here for the meaning behind rose colours.

Black Tie vs. Formal: Dress Etiquette

February 5, 2010

Although there is some overlap between black tie and formal affairs, there is a distinguishing dress etiquette. A tuxedo can be worn to a black tie or formal occasion whereas a black suit is only appropriate for formal functions. Similarly, a formal shirt can be worn with either a tuxedo or a black suit but a tuxedo shirt should only be worn with a tuxedo.

Antonio Valente tuxedo shirt with bibbed fronts and Swarovski crystal buttons

Antonio Valente tuxedo shirt with bibbing and Swarovski crystal studs

When deciding on a shirt, either a tuxedo shirt or a formal shirt, it must be styled with French cuffs (fastened with suitable cufflinks) and without a pocket. Custom dictates that a tuxedo shirt must have bibbing with studs, but it can also have plain fronts with studs. A formal shirt, on the other hand, will only have plain fronts detailed with buttons, fancy buttons or a fly placket.  Traditionally, tuxedo and formal shirts have been white, however, black shirts have become fashionable and should only be worn with a black tie. Additionally, a formal shirt can also be ivory but must be worn with an ivory tie.

Antonio Valente tuxedo and tuxedo shirt

Antonio Valente tuxedo and tuxedo shirt

To complete the outfit either a bow tie, which is very conventional, or a long tie would match nicely with either a tuxedo or black suit. Also, a pair of high gloss shoes, either slip-on or lace-up, will pair well with a tuxedo or black suit. On the other hand, black patent leather shoes should only be worn with a tuxedo.

More than Meets the Eye: Antonio Valente Sport Shirts

February 4, 2010

As a consumer, most of my shopping impulses are driven by how an item looks. If an object’s design is attractive, I will research its quality and manufacturer as a way to increase its appeal and value but my initial interest is always based on my sense of sight. It occurred to me that consumers appreciate Antonio Valente  shirts, trousers and jackets on many levels, but they may not realize the technical efforts invested into a particularly unique design.

Below is a photograph of a Fall 2010 sport shirt sample and the fabric used to make it. At first glance, it seems we crafted the sport shirt from two different fabrics. However, upon closer examination it’s clear that we used two sides of the same fabric to make the sport shirt. The fabric’s unique pattern and the design’s extensive details posed our pattern department with their most challenging sport shirt to date.

Before we spread a fabric for cutting, we organize a shirt’s pattern pieces into a marker, which has two purposes: to take full advantage of a fabric’s cuttable surface, and reconcile each piece with the fabric’s matching line. In this case, there was the added obstacles of the fabric’s unique double-sided pattern, which only has two stripes, and the sport shirt’s design details, which required extensive piece-by-piece manipulation within the marker. This demanding sport shirt design took 15 times longer to create its marker than it would for a basic white dress shirt. At Antonio Valente, each dress shirt, sport shirt, trouser, suit and sport jacket is made with the intention of  assaulting the senses.

Date Movie Rentals: Top 5 Sport Movies

February 3, 2010

As the Olympic torch relay approaches Vancouver for the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony, I thought it would be appropriate to list the top 5 sport movies. In lieu of the 2010 Olympics, my honourable mention goes to Slapshot, starring Paul Newman.

No. 5

Rudy

Starring Sean Astin, Jon Favreau and Charles S. Dutton

Directed by David Anspaugh

No. 4

Bull Durham

Starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon

Directed by Ron Shelton

No. 3

Raging Bull

Starring Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci

Directed by Martin Scorsese

No. 2

Million Dollar Baby

Starring Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank

Directed by Clint Eastwood

No. 1

Rocky

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers and Burgess Meredith

Directed by John G. Avildsen

Spring 2010: Some New Fabric Arrivals

February 2, 2010

January was an exciting month and February promises more of the same. Our Spring look book gave everyone a small glance of things to come, MR Magazine recognized our Sartorial Collection in their Luxe issue, our Fall 2010 collection began taking shape, and our Spring production continued to progress as new Spring fabrics arrived.

As delivery dates for the Spring fashion season draw closer, it seems difficult to believe that the year-long process of realizing our Spring collection is reaching its climax. Our resellers and their loyal Antonio Valente customers are eager to see what’s in store for them. Here is a glimpse at some of the latest new fabric arrivals that will soon be cut and sewn into dress shirts and sport shirts for Spring 2010.

Antonio Showing The New Fall 2010 Collection

February 1, 2010

We are all in the factory today, working with Antonio as he takes us through the new Fall 2010 collection. You’ll notice a camera in here with us – we’ll work out the highlights and probably upload some of them in a few weeks.  It’s really impressive!

It Was A Big Saturday

February 1, 2010

Saturday was a busy one for us at the factory.  Friday night, Antonio received an email from one of his friends in the movie world. Turns out that one of Hollywood’s better known actors, who is in Toronto for a film shoot, needed some shirts in a hurry and called the only factory that could deliver quality on such short notice.  The shirt order was prepared Saturday and the shirts should be finished by Tuesday.

We cannot yet tell you who this person is (unless they allow us to share the information)… funny, considering we’ve worked with him before. But that’s OK, once we get the go-ahead we’ll be happy to let you all know.

One friend of ours that stopped in on Saturday was CNN News Anchor and author, Ali Velshi. Ali is CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent, and host of CNN’s weekday show, CNN Newsroom, which airs Mon-Fri at 1pm-3PM. He’s a great guy and we’re wishing him luck with his show, books and informing America about all things business.

North American Companies Operating in North America, Volume 10: New Balance

January 29, 2010

It’s increasingly difficult to find large North American corporations that still manufacture in their native country. New Balance is a trail blazer dedicated to their humble beginnings and quality.

In 1906, the New Balance Arch Support Company was founded in Boston, and manufactured arch supports and other accessories to improve shoe fit. It wasn’t until 1961 that the company designed and manufactured its first running shoe, which was the world’s first running shoe made with a ripple sole and to come in varying widths. The next turning point in the company’s history came in 1972, when the New Balance was bought by Jim Davis. At the time, the company consisted of just six people but by the late 70’s their product line expanded and sales skyrocketed. Today, New Balance is the only athletic shoe manufacturer still making shoes in the U.S. (New England) while upholding its traditional commitment to individual preferences, innovation and quality products.