Meet the man who made haute culture a legacy in Italy
If you have yet to hear the term “haute couture”, this would be the best approach to what has shaken up the fashion industry like a whirlwind. It is a French parlance for hand-made garments from the tiniest details like lining and hem, bejeweled with sparkling diamonds or precious pearls. These items are truly the closest things to perfection.
The haute couture is the land where designers unleash their creative flow and go wild with their stunning designs and impeccable sewing skills. Standing out in a sea full of prominent talent, Valentino paved his way to the fashion capital to become the top couturier in the world and had his name adored by fashionistas around the globe.
Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani – Valentino for short, is one of the history’s legendary fashion designers. He was born on May 11, 1932 in the fashion capital of the world - Italy. Valentino nourished his talent in art at an early age and embarked on a journey into the fashion industry when he was just only 18 years old. He was bound as an apprentice to a few local designers, one of them was his aunt Rosa. Understanding the importance of a professional training, Valentino left his hometown to the splendid city of France, Paris to take up a designing class at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. His first exposure to the true fashion business was in the salons of Jean Desses and Guy Laroche.
In 1959, Valentino gave birth to the first fashion house under his name in Rome, Italy. The store were designed to resemble the Parisian’s grand houses that matched his genuine luxurious designs. Valentino’s famous poppy red was incubated right at this place.
The world will never have any dress that could exemplify the luxuriousness and elegance better than Valentino’s Fiesta cocktail dress with tulle roses. His extraordinary debut collection unprecedentedly captured the eyes of the fashion savvy and took the industry by storm. All of the designs were praised by women across the country and he soon molded the haute culture in Italy.
Valentino and his glorious career
The beginning of his era only started when he met Giancarlo Giammetti - his partner in both work and in life. Together, they introduced their fashion label to the world in 1962 and it didn’t take Valentino much time to gain reputation with his genius and sophisticated designs for the boulevardiers. 5 years after his international expansion, Valentino was awarded the honorable Neiman Marcus Fashion prize in recognition of his contribution to the industry.
Valentino has become the favorite fashion house of many famous names like Jacqueline Kennedy, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Naomi Watts, Gwen Stefani, Anne Hathaway and many more. There is almost no red carpet premier without a flash of Valentino’s haute designs.
“Valentino is really the gentleman of the drop-dead entrances of the red carpet.” –Vanity Fair
The empire of Valentino was built to conquer the fashion industry and even though after the designer announced his retirement in 2007, his legacy still lives on. Today, the Valentino label is instantly recognizable with his signature fresh touch of the modern luxe while still staying close to Valentino’s sumptuous classical style.
Facts you may not know about Valentino
- Being an extreme dog lover, Valentino owns six pugs in total (whose names are all start with an M): Milton, Monty, Maude, Margot, Maggie, and Molly.
- He celebrated his 30th Anniversary of the journey in the Fashion industry with a marvelous exhibition called “Valentino: 30 years of Magic” in 1991. It displayed many of his never before seen enchanting sketches and clothes. The exhibition was then brought to New York and quickly gathered up to 70,000 visitors in only 2 weeks!
- The talented designer who continued to build up the House of Valentino is Maria Grazia Chiuri, who was one Valentino’s long serving employees before he retired.
- The Valentino and Giammetti couple own many homes around the world including spectacular villas in Spain, France and Switzerland.
- He has a camaraderie with Jackie Kennedy and artist Andy Warhol.
- The House of Valentino has released 4 primary fashion lines: Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and R.E.D Valentino.
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