Even if you haven’t heard of Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, you have heard of Maison Valentino and the trademark “Valentino red”.
Valentino Garavani was born in 1932 in Vogera (Italy, of course). He began to study fashion in Milan, then moved to the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. When he had to pick an apprenticeship, his first choice was Jacques Fath, then Christóbal Balenciaga.
His first collection was presented in 1959, and his first couture collection – in 1962 in Florence (the fashion capital at the time). There and then, he began to earn his international reputation. By the mid 60s, Valentino was the favourite designer of some of the world’s best-dressed women, including Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.
The designer opened his first shop in Milan in 1969. The following year he opened stores in Rome and New York. Valentino Garavani became known for his dresses in a very bright red shade – a shade which will always remain in the history of fashion as “Valentino red”. Some of his famous clients are Anne Hathaway and Princess Madeleine of Sweden (they both wore wedding dresses designed by him).
In 2006, Valentino Garavani received the French Legion of Honour medal. He retired in 2008. At the Venice Film Festival the following year Matt Tyrnauer presented the movie Valentino: The Last Emperor. In 2016, was Pierpaolo Piccioli was appointed sole Creative Director of Maison Valentino.