Ask any style blogger and they will tell you their favorite part of the job is connecting with designers and brands from around the globe.
For equestrian-style blogger, Molly Knott, the excitement doubles when she discovers incredible items for rider and horse.
An email arrives. From the extension in the address, I can tell it’s from Europe. “Please take a look at our new collection,” or some variation is how these messages usually read.
“Rich deerskin leather appliques, intricately hand-woven fabrics, an exquisitely flattering fit.” Is this describing something from the runways of†fashion week? I scan further…Decidedly, no.
From the epicenter of fashion, Manifattura Valor creates couture-quality horsewear imbued with the traditional crafts and materials of the Italian Alps. In fact, Valor may be the only collection of horse blankets, saddle pads, and halters in the world to posses such a distinctive “terroir” of their handcrafted origin.
Valor’s wool comes from small, sustainably-raised and free-roaming flocks of alpine sheep. Left untreated and spun to different weights and patterns, the blankets range from a slightly-spun peacock texture all the way up to sharply-spun smooth herringbones worthy of a custom Italian suit.
It is gorgeous, and fashion, of course, can afford to be a statement-only affair on the street or the red carpet. We’ve all sacrificed comfort to look good. But, for a horse, it must absolutely function in the stable, too.
As the editor of Dappled Grey, I’m always seeking this fashion/function balance. Valor wows me with luxurious details: detachable shoulder collars, leather trim, polished zippers, and hidden surcingles for a sleek fit.
But beyond their beauty and quality, the natural properties of Manifattura Valor’s Loden wools are designed to perform too, offering warmth, water resistance, and durability.
In the stable, a horse will turn heads in this blanket. For his working wardrobe, Valor’s saddle pads, hand-felted from the same wool and patterned with intricate cutouts, make a stunning statement.
And so there it is — the “wow,” the “find” that a blogger hopes for at each opening of those introductory emails. Made to measure, steeped in tradition, but also uniquely avant garde, Manifattura Valor, you set a new standard in couture for the horse.
Molly Knott is the founder and editor of the lifestyle blog, Dappled Grey, a curated guide to equestrian style and culture. When not working on the blog, she can be found doting on her warmblood, Fitch, and maintaining her small farm in the Pacific Northwest.