- NAME: Valentino
- OCCUPATION: Fashion Designer
- BIRTH DATE: May 11, 1932 (Age: 81)
- Did You Know?: Valentino once named a clothing line after his beloved pug, Oliver.
- EDUCATION: École des Beaux-Arts, Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Voghera, Lombardy, Italy
- Full Name: Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani
- AKA: Valentino
- AKA: Valentino Garavani
- ZODIAC SIGN: Taurus
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Valentino Garavani is an Italian fashion designer best known as the founder of the Valentino SpA company.
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Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, Italy, on May 11, 1932. Valentino studied fashion design from a young age, completing his formal training in Paris and starting his own line in Rome in 1959. By the mid-1960s, Valentino was a favorite designer of the world's best-dressed women, including Jacqueline Kennedy. Among his signatures is a particular fabric shade, known as "Valentino red."
"I know what women want. They want to be beautiful."
Fashion designer Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani was born on May 11, 1932, in Voghera, Lombardy, Italy. He began working in the fashion industry at a young age, apprenticing under local designers including his aunt Rosa. His formal training took place in Paris, at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Valentino got his professional start as an apprentice working in the salons of Jean Dessès and Guy Laroche.
Valentino left Paris in 1959 to open a fashion house in Rome. He modeled his business on the grand houses he had seen in Paris. In his early shows, Valentino quickly gained recognition for his red dresses, in a shade that became widely known as "Valentino red."
In 1960, Valentino met Giancarlo Giammetti in Rome. Giammetti, an architecture student, quickly became Valentino's partner, both professionally and romantically. Together, the pair developed Valentino SpA into an internationally recognized brand. Valentino's international debut took place in 1962, at the Pitti Palace in Florence. The show cemented the designer's reputation and attracted the attention of socialites and aristocratic women from around the world. Within a few years, Valentino's designs were considered the pinnacle of Italian couture. In 1967, he received the prestigious Neiman Marcus Fashion Award. His client list included the Begum Aga Khan, Queen Paola of Belgium and movie stars Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.
Among Valentino's most prominent clients was Jacqueline Kennedy. Kennedy developed an interest in the designer's work after admiring friends in several Valentino ensembles. In 1964, Kennedy ordered six dresses in black and white, which she wore during the year following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. She would remain a friend and a client from that point on, linking the Valentino name to her own iconic status in the fashion world. Valentino also designed the dress that Kennedy wore when she wed Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1968.
While maintaining strong ties to Florence and Rome, Valentino spent much of the 1970s in New York. In addition to his friendship with Jackie Kennedy, he became close friends with artists such as Andy Warhol. Over the course of his career, Valentino's primary lines have been Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and R.E.D. Valentino.
Valentino and Giammetti maintain homes around the world, including villas in Spain, France and Switzerland. These homes are filled with art, which they avidly collect. Valentino has a penchant for dogs, particularly pugs—of which he owns many.
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Each day, we put on clothes that do more than just cover up bodies. We choose clothes that represent our personalities, our moods, the times we live in, our ambitions and our desires. Who are the people behind the designs we wear every day? These fashion designers who have made fashion a huge industry, and whose work is as controversial, and as influential, as traditional art. These are some of the designers who have dressed the world's most famous people—and are hugely famous in their own right.
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