Valentino Garavani (mostly known as Valentino) was born in Voghera, Italy, in 1932. From his childhood Valentino got interested in fashion design, when he was 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 Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
He apprenticed at Jacques Fath and afterwards at Balenciaga and Jean Desses. Then he worked for two years at Guy Laroche.
In 1959 the designer decided to come back to Italy and settled in Rome. With the help of his father, Valentino opened a fashion house in Rome, which had a lot of elements similar to Paris tradition.
The international debut of Valentino took place in 1962 in Florence, Italy. In 1964 the designer was spotted by Jacqueline Kennedy, which defintily brought Valentino a lot of good PR in the form of being a friend designer of the American President’s wife. The next dozen of years the designer was getting only more and more successful.
In 1990 Academia Valentino was opened in Rome close to the designer’s atelier in order to become a cultural space for art exhibitions.
In 1998 Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, his partner, sold the company to an Italian conglomerate HdP for around 300 Mio USD, which in 2002 was resold to Marzotto Apparel. Nowadays the company is presented in more than 90 countries with more than 1500 points of sales.
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