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FASHION

Valentino Garavani & the iconic fashion house brand history

For decades Valentino has been one of the influential fashion houses, associated with Hollywood films and red carpets. Today, we take a look back at the history of one of Italy’s most iconic luxury brands, Valentino.

Valentino History

The History of Valentino

The story begins with Valentino Garavani, who started his fashion career at a young age as an apprentice for local designers. Training at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris, he worked for Jean Dessès and Guy Laroche before opening his own fashion house on Via Condotti, Rome, in 1959. In 1962 the designer launched into international stardom when Valentino made its debut at the Pitti Palace in Florence.

The Jackie Kennedy Boom

Valentino quickly became known for its haute couture glamorous red dresses, later creating a diffusion line named after the colour. Attracting the attention of women all over the world – most notably, Jackie Kennedy who later became a close friend of the designer. The year after her husband President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, she wore six haute couture looks by Valentino, which she bought upon moving back to New York City.

jackie kennedy

She also wore a wedding dress by Valentino when she married Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis in 1968.  This started off the fashion house’s connection to influential women, with Valentino designing wedding dresses for the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Courtney Cox and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

After a career that spanned over 40 years, Garavani announced that he was retiring in 2007. His final ready-to-wear show was presented during the spring/summer ’08 fashion week in Paris. The celebratory show featured a whole host of supermodels including Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova.

Garavani's Retirement

In 2008, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli assumed the co-position of the head of the fashion house. Creative partners for over 20 years, the pair studied at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome and worked together at Fendi before being approached by Valentino to become accessory designers. They co-directed Valentino and were credited for breathing new life into the brand. Reinventing and modernising it for the new generation with the same glamour and elegance that Valentino is known for but on a more subtle level.

REDValentino was launched in 2009 as a youthful, more eccentric, diffusion line of Valentino. It’s fashion-forward, contemporary and boundary-pushing, whilst being romantic, dreamy and staying true to the feminism and glamour that the fashion house is known for. In 2016, Chiuri announced that she would be leaving Valentino and heading to Dior. Piccioli would remain in his role as the sole creative director, where he still is today.

Valentino History

The 2020's

While Valentino has always been at the forefront of high fashion, the Fall 2022 collection took it up a notch in regard to viral success. For this collection, the brand produced a large number of head-to-toe hot pink looks. Specifically naming the vibrant shade 'Valentino Pink'. The looks have since been everywhere, with celebrities such as Zendaya, Gigi Hadid, Leonie Hanne and more seen in the full pink look.

The MET

A brand always associated with the biggest names, this year we saw the likes of Rihanna, Florance Pugh and Priyanka Chopra dressed by Valentino. Paying homage to Karl Lagerfeld, here are the standout outfits we loved the most.

valentino history
Velntino History
Valentino History

 

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Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson Writer and expert

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