May 1, 2005
Valentino is a fashion house created by Valentino Garavani, a famous fashion designer born on May 11, 1932, in the town of Voghera, Italy. He became interested in fashion while in high school, during which time he studied under Vogherese designer Ernestina Salvadeo (an aunt of noted artist Aldo Giorgini) and at age 17 he moved to Paris to pursue this interest. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. He first found apprentice jobs, with Jean Desses where he used to help Jacqueline de Ribes sketch her dress ideas. Then he joined Jean Desses and Guy Laroche. He moved to Rome in the beginning of the 1960s and started his own fashion house, Valentino. His first show, in 1962, was a success, and Valentino was welcomed into the fashion world. In 1967, he premiered the Valentino White Collection, which became famous for the “V” logo he designed. He designed the white dress that Jacqueline Kennedy wore to her wedding with Aristotle Onassis. Through the 1970s Valentino spent considerable time in New York City where his presence was embraced by social personalities such as Steve Rubell and art identities such as Andy Warhol. He currently designs menswear and womenswear and has his own perfume and make-up line. In 1990, he cofounded the L.I.F.E. Association with Giancarlo Giammetti, a program for the support of AIDS victims. He is now 73 years old, still designing, and living in Rome.
Oprah has also covered how he creates his haute couture clothing in one of her shows in 2005. She also wrote a page in her magazine, O, expressing how she had admired his clothing long before she could afford it.