Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani commonly known by only his first name ‘Valentino’ was born on the 11th of May, 1932 in a small town North of Milan, Italy. At the age of 17, Valentino acted upon his desire of becoming a fashion designer and took his dream to the inner cities of Paris to study. Whilst in Paris, Valentino studied under other well known icons in fashion. His first apprenticeship was with Jean Desses continuing on under Guy Laroche. Valentino quickly learned what it takes to be one of the best in the fashion industry. With Valentino wanting to fulfill higher dreams as a designer, he decided to try and build his own fashion house. Valentino left Paris and opened his own fashion studio in Rome in 1959 under the finance of his father. He named the fashion house ‘Valentino’, after himself; he then began to design for his first fashion show. In 1962, Valentino completed his first runway fashion show. It was with the tremendous success of this show that the fashion world first began to take notice of Valentino and his designs. His studio was on its way to becoming an empire.
Valentino’s headquarter is based in Milan but owns and runs boutique stores in Atlanta, Bal Harbour, Beverly Hills, Boston, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C, Philadelphia, Chicago, Tokyo, Italy, Paris, Rome, Bangkok and Argentina.
1932| Valentino Garavani was born. His father was an electrical supplier and his mother recognized the value of a well-made garment.| 1944| He begins sketching fashion designs all over his schoolbooks. | 1950| Valentino’s mother and father let him study fashion in Paris. He is schooled at the ‘École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne’.| 1951| Valentino lands a position as an apprentice sketcher for Jean Desses. He will work for the couturier for five years. | 1957| He began his second apprenticeship with Guy Laroche, who had just opened his own small salon. | 1959| Valentino returns to Italy and his father finances the opening of Valentino’s first fashion studio. | 1960| Begins his collaboration with Giancarlo Giammetti.| 1961| Following a near bankruptcy due to Valentino’s expensive tastes, he reopens the company in a tiny apartment in Rome. | 1962| Valentino shows his first collection in Florence. Orders begin to flow in and he receives a contract as a designer from a manufacturer in New York, ‘Leathermode’.| 1963| A Valentino dress appears in ‘Vogue’!|
1964| Valentino designs a collection for a boutique offering his coats and dresses at a lower-price. | 1965| Valentino opens a second studio in Milan to accommodate the high volume of orders. He is already recognized as the top Fashion Designer in Italy.| 1966| A show is held in Rome where numerous boutiques decide to buy and sell his designs. ‘Valentino R.E.D’ was released.|
1968| A Valentino store opens in Paris.|
1969| ‘Valentino Uomo’ men’s line debuts. |
1970| New Valentino stores open in New York and Rome. He runs his ready-to-wear, fur and accessory lines. | 1971| A menswear boutique and ‘Valentino Piu’ (a home decoration store) open in Rome.| 1976| A Valentino shop opens in Tokyo.|
1978| The designer’s first fragrance is launched, ‘Valentino Women’.| 1983| ‘Oliver’, a line for children named after his pet late pug dog.| 1984| For Valentino’s 25 years in fashion, he is presented with an award from the Italian minister of industry. Valentino creates the outfits for the Italian teams for the summer Olympics.| 1985| Fragrance: ‘Valentino de Valentino’ debuts. |
1986| A menswear boutique opens in the United States. |
1987| First year to introduce the new handbag line in a Valentino boutique. | 1991| ‘Vendetta’ for women fragrance is introduced, followed by ‘Vendetta’ for men.| 1993| Major distribution and manufacturing deals are signed with Chinese and Japanese...