Valentino brand profile Featured

The story of an iconic Italian brand
by 05 March 2012

Click to see a list of boutiques   Valentino Chemisier carousel   Valentino Rockstud carousel

Today, the Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A plays an important role in the world of fashion and luxury, with a diversified portfolio of products including clothing, accessories, and footwear for men and women. The group consists of two business units, covering the entire luxury and fashion sector:

- Valentino, comprising the brands Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and RED Valentino;
- Licensed brands MCS Marlboro Classics and M Missoni, plus other brands owned by the group: Lebole, Oxon and Portrait.

The Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A operates in over 85 countries, with over 700 single-brand boutiques and 112 directly-managed shops.

LUXOS online resources

Looks from the fall-winter 2011-2012 runway shows
Valentino Chemisier carousel with links to online store
Valentino Rockstud carousel with links to online store
Review of Valentino documentary movie

Brand history

"I don't think any man in the world wants to go out with a woman dressed like a boy," Valentino once said. His principal focus in fashion was the celebration of female forms, rising to success in the 1960s with his full-length gowns and skirts that went in the opposite direction to the mini-skirts that were the latest trend. His signature colour was Valentino red, but his white and black garments became equally famous.

Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, a northern town in Italy. He initially trained in his hometown before going to Paris and working with Jean Desses, Jacques Fath, Balenciaga, and Guy Laroche. In 1959 he moved back to Italy, and opened a couture house on Via Condotti in Rome. In 1960, he met future business partner Giancarlo Giammetti, and their friendship developed into a solid business partnership, founding the fashion house in 1965. Valentino's international breakthrough arrived in 1962, in Florence, which at the time was Italy's fashion capital. In 1968 in Rome, his all-white collection won considerable success. His reputation was underscored by celebrity clients including Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret.

Over the course of the next three decades, the fashion house went from strength to strength, hallmarked by the iconic V logo. Valentino has dressed some of the most glamorous personalities in the world including Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow. Valentino himself became the personification of his own brand, feted in Italy and abroad.

Garavani announced his retirement in 2007, and presented hi last pret-à porter women's show in Paris on 4 October 2007. His last haute couture show was presented at Musée Rodin in Paris in January 2008, to a standing ovation. After his retirement, Alessandra Facchinetti, previously at Gucci, was announced as the new creative director in charge of women's collections, while Ferruccio Pozzoni (who past work experiences included Prada and Brioni) took over as head of menswear. The creative leadership changed soon after, when Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were appointed Creative Directors, making their debut in January 2009 at Paris Fashion Week.

Garavani and Giammetti sold the company in 1998, and in 2002 Valentino S.p.A. once again changed hands, becoming part of Milan-based Marzotto Apparel.

Valentino appears as himself in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. The image below is from, the documentary The Last Emperor, a film on the designer which was presented at the 2008 Venice Film Festival. Read the article on the film HERE.