Valentino Garavani (better known as Valentino) was born in 1932 in Voghera, Italy. During his childhood, Valentino became interested in fashion design when helping his aunt Rosa as well as a local designer, Ernestina Salvadeo.
He moved to Paris to study at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and at the École des Beaux-Arts.
He apprenticed at Jacques Fath and afterward at Balenciaga and Jean Desses. Then he worked for two years at Guy Laroche.
In 1959, the designer decided to return to Italy and settled in Rome. With his father's help, Valentino opened a fashion house in Rome, which had many elements influenced by Paris tradition.
Valentino's international debut took place in 1962 in Florence, Italy. In 1964, the designer was spotted by Jacqueline Kennedy, which brought Valentino a lot of good PR, as he was a friend and the designer of the American President’s wife. Over the next decade, the designer only became more and more successful.
In 1990, the Academia Valentino opened in Rome close to the designer’s atelier and became a cultural space for art exhibitions.
In 1998, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, his partner, sold the company to the Italian conglomerate HdP for around 300 million USD. In 2002, it was resold to Marzotto Apparel. Nowadays, the brand is sold in more than 90 countries with more than 1500 points of sale.
In 2007, Valentino decided to leave the world fashion stage and, in January 2008, his last haute couture collection was shown in Paris.
Watch Valentino Garavani presenting the costumes for the New York City Ballet
Make a short tour through Valentino's virtual museum