Keni Valenti's winding trail to the close of this century was a wild carnival ride. So was the afternoon that I spent with him. Ordinary fashion adjectives: unique, exceptional, extrordinary and fabulous just can't quite describe the magical world of kooky juxtapositions encountered Chez Valenti. Once upon a time, Keni lived among Manhattan's designer royalty during the chapter of fashion life that spanned the '80s. Complete with his own ready-to-wear collection, accessory spin offs, global licensing deals, Japanese backers and all the makings of a mighty fashion empire. Like many on the highest plateaus overlooking the fickle sea of fashion trends during that particular reigning era, he too, fell a few notches. This would have worried an ordinary king, but Keni had a foundation as strong as his love for all things fashionable. Always a collector of the finest ilk, the past decade has been devoted to revamping his vintage collection and writing the next chapter of his life. And not many vintage collectors can claim owning hard to find pieces from their very own (now vintage) collections.
Keni is almost Kahuna in his way he personifies the objects and clothing in space and it's way too much fun not to take the trip with him. One gets a very strong feeling that each piece in his collection has a very old soul, with stories to tell, pre and post their joining Keni's family. The tips of the Emilio Pucci glasses that once graced Jackie O's face, have some very visible nervous teeth marks. One suede fringed Gucci ensemble had a life of clubbing in the '70s and since meeting Keni has lived a life of a supermodel - jetting around the globe to photo shoots ranging from ID to Harper's Bazaar. Editorial requests have been booming this year - for great vintage pieces - to mix with current collections in magazine photo stories. Smack dab in the middle of his intense tribute to fashion history in his land of giant Barbie dolls - sits his new iMac - a very valuable tool for Keni's regular dealings with eBay. 2000 is absolutely the perfect setting for a Keni Valenti comeback. His new collection, slated for spring, will undoubtedly be the ultimate ticket to carry us into the future.