When Dallas designer Valerie Garmino was considering options for a lightweight, comfortable fabric that also looked luxurious, there was one thing she wasn’t willing to budge on: sustainability. That led her to Peruvian Pima cotton for her eponymous line of romantic, structured blouses. Hand-harvested without chemical fertilizers or pesticides, her chosen material is environmentally friendly in addition to being soft and durable.
“I call Pima cotton the king of cottons,” Garmino says of the wrinkle-free fiber, which dates back millennia in Peru but is named for the Pima tribe, which first grew it in the United States, in the early 1900s. “Cotton is breathable, absorbent, and versatile, helping you stay cool when temperatures rise. It’s also hypoallergenic and ideal for sensitive skin, as the fabric doesn’t contain residues of synthetic fertilizers.”
The hand-harvesting process also helps the cotton absorb dyes better, which will serve Garmino’s colorful summer collection well. She plans to add patterned silk dresses and caftans to the mix. “They will be full of storytelling pieces that not only will transport you to the places I got the inspiration from, but also will give you a buzz of confidence,” she says.
Although Garmino has lived and worked around the world, studying at the Paris American Academy and showing her collection during Paris Fashion Week, she says it’s the women of Dallas who inspire her most. Clients like Real Housewives of Dallas star Kameron Westcott and TV host Hilary Kennedy solicit her advice with private wardrobe consultations and styling sessions. The plan is for Garmino to open a showroom in Dallas soon.
“The women here love to dress up,” she says. “Dallas women are classy and sophisticated and love to wear timeless and statement pieces.”
They also like to stay cool and wrinkle-free during the summer. Garmino’s got that covered.