Softly spoken, warm-hearted and utterly genuine, meeting Emma for the first time feels like you may have known her forever. The founder of elevated resort label, Luxe de Valentina, embodies the feminine, elegant attitude inherent in the label, yet pairs it with a sort of ease that makes both her and the LDV collections completely approachable. Think dramatic ruffled taffeta worn over a bathing suit, or a sheer, dappled gold dress with balloon sleeves, hinting at the summer tan beneath...
We met with Emma on a sunny Sydney morning to discover the muse behind her collections and learn why every day is an opportunity to dress up.
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Elegant, well-travelled, curious style-hunter.
You are the founder and designer of premium resort label, Luxe de Valentina (our latest obsession). Tell us, what is the inspiration behind the label and how did you get started?
From a young age, a love of travelling to far flung destinations inspired my craving for colours, textures and styling. I spent many years daydreaming of one day creating my own label. LDV embodies this love of travel, experiencing exotic summer nights, romantic long lunches and glamorous Mediterranean escapes in a world where every day is an opportunity to dress up. Three years ago, following a career in Entertainment and Fashion PR, I finally made the break. I have been incredibly lucky along the way, to have strong, highly regarded mentors to help me get started. Without them, I would still be daydreaming.
Your pieces are at once easy and completely wearable, yet unapologetically elevated. What do you hope to communicate through your designs?
As a woman you can be anyone you choose to be and clothes can take you there. I have always wanted to share what the gift clothes and curated style can give a woman. It opens up a world where you can feel alive and naturally confident. I have always enjoyed dressing up and I prefer to be over dressed, whatever the occasion. I encourage women not to let their clothes hang in their cupboard, but embrace their own style with elegance and not feel afraid to stand out.
Who is Valentina?
Ah, Valentina is my muse. She is unapologetically fabulous, a global style hunter, luxe traveller and curator of beautiful places and people. Her lifestyle choices are driven by a well-balanced approach to self-awareness, caring for others and never saying no to a party invitation.
What are you most passionate about?
Beautiful things, travel and my family. And my neighbours who, over the years, have become family. I love sharing food, friendship and all our adventures.
Describe your typical day:
I cannot start the day without a hug from my husband, and a coffee. Living in Watsons Bay I love my morning run around the harbour front and a coffee at The Camp Cove Kiosk. After the mad rush of children out the door and off to school, I take a quiet moment to respond to emails and manage my social media. This is also a great time to check in with my sister (and life mentor) who lives in Singapore. My label is designed and made in Australia so the rest of my day is usually full of creative and production appointments that can take me all over Sydney. Since COVID I am eager to calm the rushing and incorporate more simple pleasures into my working week. I cannot give up a glass of whiskey or brandy at 5pm when it’s time to relax with family or enjoy a home cooked dinner with the neighbours.
How would you define your personal style? Does this differ from your vision of the LDV woman?
My personal style has often been described as classic, elegant and feminine. I dress in colour tones rather than prints and rely on luxe gold, white and ivory to make me feel me. Also, anything with a waist and long hem line. The LDV woman is all of these things and more – elegant, international, well-travelled and never afraid to dress up.
Who are your style icons?
I have spent a lifetime collecting magazine articles and pictures of my style icons but if I had to name a few they include Poppy Delavigne, Marie-Louise Sciò owner of Hotel Pellicano, My Grandmother Barbie, all fashion photographers from the beginning of time, and my beautiful girlfriends.
What is your favourite piece from the Sambag collections?
I love my new Poppy Yellow Satin Pointed Flats and I cannot resist a pair of colourful Paula Slides for summer.
And our signature question - if you were a shoe, what style would you be?
A python leather, strappy sandal – luxe, elegant and always ready to have fun.
Emma wears the Poppy Pointed Flat in Yellow