Born 11th May 1932, Valentino Celemente Ludovico Garavni is an Italian fashion designer and renowned worldwide as one of the world’s oldest fashion designers. He is the founder of the Valentino SpA company. He has multiple fashion lines, his main one being Valentino. These other fashion lines include Valentno Garavani, Valentino Roma along with R.E.D. Valentino.
Born in Voghera, Valentino became interested in fashion whilst attending primary school in northern Italy. His love for fashion increased as his age did. He apprenticed under his aunty when he was old enough. He also worked for a local designer called Ernestina Salvadeo. Like almost every other impactful designer, Valentino realised that he had to travel to one place to pursue his career in fashion; Paris. His parents, Teresa de Biaggi and Mauro Garavani assisted him and supported him whilst he decided to adopt a career in fashion and helped him travel to Paris whilst he learnt. Valentino went on to study at two fashion schools; École des Beaux-Arts and Chamber Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
Although he had an apprenticeship with a popular local designer, Valentino decided to take up another apprenticeship. However, Valentino had multiple choices, one of these choices being Balenciaga. Valentino chose Jean Dessès. He worked vigorously whilst he worked at the label. He would draw for ridiculous hours whilst he would greet and help dress clients. Unfortunately Valentino lost his sketches however some were recovered and it was revealed that Valentino predicted that animal prints and pleats would come into fashion and when they were included in an exhibition in Rome, people saw how Valentino was an extremely talented fashion designer.
After holding his position at Jean Dessès for five years, an incident over a holiday would cause Valentino to lose his place in the label. It was one of Valentino’s close friends that would assist him in founding his minute fashion label. He would return to Italy and set up his label in Rome in 1959 which was where the fashion genius would start one of the biggest fashion legacies to date.
After establishing his label under his own name, Valentino had strong roots in Italy and he was know throughout Europe for his red dresses. It would be the high end area in which Valentino founded his label that assisted him in earning money enabling him to increase his prices and produce more, soon he would have his own shade of red; “Valentino red”. His influence soon grew and his label and position was secure in fashion.
Even though Valentino was doing extremely well within fashion, he had spent so much money setting up his label in a high end label and producing product that his father had to fight bankruptcy. It was one of Valentino’s future business partners, Giancarlo Giammetti that would assist him in stabilising his label.
Throughout the 1970’s Valentino spent most of the decade in New York City which promoted his brand even more, he was now a worldwide name and was one of the biggest designers of the decade.
After completing his goals in fashion, Valentino realised he could not run in fashion forever and saw that he had left an imprint in fashion. His business parter Giancarlo Giammetti sold the brand for around $300,000,000. In 2002, Valentino S.p.A. was sold for $210,000,000 to Milan based textile company Marzotto Apparel.
It was on September 4th 2007 that Valentino revealed that he would retire completely from fashion in early 2008. On 4th October his put on his last women’s ready-to-wear show. His very last show was displayed on January 28th however his retirement was somewhat covered up by the death of Heath Ledger after he was found dead with drugs in his system.
To date, Valentino has several celebrity friends and can be seen with many influential celebs. He attended Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s wedding and also had a small breakfast with the two showing that they posses a close bond. In 2012 a large scale exhibition opened in London showcasing the work of the fashion legend. It included 130 exclusive high end designs.