“I hope people will say, ‘Mr. Valentino, he did something for fashion, no?'” – Valentino Garavani
Valentino Garavani is an Italian fashion designer who created the Valentino brands. Like most of the great designers for the fashion world, Valentino was interested in fashion from an early age. He moved to Paris to pursue his fashion dreams. He studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and at the École des Beaux-Arts. He interned under Jacques Faith, for Balenciaga, and also for Jean Desses. In 1960 he opened his first fashion house in Rome. He took much of his inspirations from Paris and put it into his own house; this also led him to become known for “Valentino red.” The next year he also met future business partner and lifelong friend Giancarlo Giammetti. After struggling with bankruptcy, Valentino made a comeback in 1962 in Florence. He started making famous friends and designing for them, such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Princess Margaret, the Countess of Snowdon. In 1964, he made an impact on Jackie Kennedy, who would later wear Valentino’s clothing often and became a close friend. 1966 brought about his now famous “V” logo and started having more shows in Rome instead of Florence. During the 1970s, he made himself known in New York City and with artist Andy Warhol. From 1983-1985, Valentino worked with Ford Motor Company. The Accademia Valentino opened in 1990. Elizabeth Taylor helped Valentino and Giammetti start the AIDS support organization, L.I.F.E. Valentino Garavani retired in 2008 after his final haute couture show was held in Paris. His work is shown in an exhibition in London that opened in 2013. The online Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum is also dedicated to the designer. He appeared in the The Devil Wears Prada movie as himself. The 2008 film Valentino: The Last Emperor was made about him. In 2006, he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. He was also given the sixth annual Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion from the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2011 and in 2014 the Medal of the City of Paris. He loves dogs, especially his six pugs. Valentino collections and line include Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and R.E.D. Valentino. The Valentino headquarters is in Milan. The creative directors are Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. The Valentino lines include menswear and womenswear, footwear, eyewear, fragrances and accessories.