Valentino S.p.A., also known as Valentino, is a high-end Italian fashion house founded by Valentino Garavani in 1960.
Since then, the company has grown to be one of the best fashion brands in the world and remains at the top among other luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Gucci, and Saint Laurent.
The company is best known for the red dresses its founder always loved to design, and the popularity grew when Diana Princess of Wales wore one decades ago.
Of course, Valentino is known for many more designs, and today, it does more than just create new clothes for men and women. The brand decided during its years in business to expand items available in stores.
But how did this luxury brand start? How did it reach the top? Is it named Valentino because of the founder, like almost every single one of those brands?
We will be answering all these questions and learning more about what you can find in Valentino today.
Valentino Garavani: Founder & Fashion Designer
To get to the company’s inception, we need to learn more about the brain behind it.
Answering the last question above, yes, Valentino takes the name of its founder Valentino Garavani, and there’s a lot to cover from this now great Italian fashion designer.
Being his full name Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, he was born om May 11, 1932, in Voghera, Lombardy, Italy.
At a young age, he began his career in design due to his early interest in the fashion industry. He worked under several local designers, including his aunt Rosa.
However, he didn’t receive his formal training during those years working. Instead, he received it in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts as well as the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.
Not too long later, he started his career as an apprentice in the salons Jean Desses and Guy Laroche.
Valentino moved to Rome in 1959 from Paris in order to open a fashion shop. He modeled his business after the grand Parisian houses he had seen.
Success didn’t take too long to appear after Valentino was quickly recognized for his red gowns, which became known as “Valentino Red” in his first shows.
In 1960, he met Giancarlo Giammetti in Rome. Giammetti was an architecture student and became Valentino’s romantic partner. However, more than love, both became great partners in the business.
The pair made Valentino SpA an internationally recognized brand, and with the help of his lover, Garavani made his international debut at the Pitti Palace, Florence, in 1962.
This show cemented Valentino’s reputation and attracted the interest of socialites as well as aristocratic women around the globe.
Valentino’s designs became the standard for Italian couture within a few years. He was awarded the Neiman Marcus Fashion Prize in 1967, and his clients included Queen Paola of Belgium, Begum Aga Khan, and Audrey Hepburn.
Jacqueline Kennedy was one of Valentino’s most recognizable clients. After admiring the work of Valentino during gatherings and meetings where her friends were dressing his designs, Kennedy became interested in the clothes.
Thus, Jacqueline ordered six black and white dresses in 1964. These were worn by her during the year after her husband’s assassination, President John F. Kennedy.
From that moment on, she would be a friend and client of Valentino, thereby establishing Valentino’s iconic status in fashion. The great designer also worked on Kennedy’s dress when she married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate.
Valentino spent most of the 1970s in New York, despite having strong ties to Rome and Florence. There, he became friends with Andy Warhol, in addition to Kennedy’s friendship.
The fashion brand just continues to grow, and after releasing several lines for the haute couture business, Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma, and R.E.D. Valentino are part of the main ones.
Retirement & the Company Today
After the success of Valentino, the long-time partners, Valentino and Giammetti, decided to sell the company to HdP, an Italian conglomerate, for $300 million in 1998.
HdP sold Valentino to Marzotto Apparel in 2002. Despite the changes in the ownership, Valentino was involved in all of them as he and Giammetti remained as part of the board and main designers involved.
After the changes in the ownership and the continued release of new lines, Valentino had announced in 2007 that his last haute couture show would be held in January 2008.
The final show was presented at the Musee Rodin, Paris. It featured iconic models Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigova, who had been working with Valentino during their runway careers.
Despite this being his retirement, the show went under a lot of criticism from Italian designers duo Dolce and Gabbana. In addition, the death of Australian actor Heath Ledger was used as an excuse for the media.
However, hundreds of people who attended and got the chance to watch the show gave Valentino a standing ovation for all his years in the industry and how the last runway was breathtaking.
A few years after this last show, a major exhibition at Somerset House in London opened to celebrate the life and work of the designer. It showcases 130 designs that were made during his creative direction.
Why Valentino Is Synonymous of Luxury
After being created in Hollywood’s golden era, Valentino got its chance to shine thanks to artists and figures in the public eye.
The previous mention about Diana Princess of Wales is just one of the very good examples of this. However, more than just people wearing Valentino’s dresses and clothes, the key lies in how he brought his vision to life.
Valentino’s style was defined as “something that exudes beauty.” The romantic ideas he came up with made the designs include sparkles whenever it was possible, and silk and layers of lace were part of the favorite additions.
Whenever you looked at someone wearing dresses or other designs, you could think about an old school of elegance.
Despite being different from the designs of other fashion houses that were revolutionizing the industry at the time as well, the power and beauty of Valentino earned him a place in this world.
The old Hollywood glamour was another factor that inspired most of the designs back in the day.
Although there’s a new person in charge of the design section after Valentino’s retirement, the inspiration from this era remains.
Gowns and dresses continue to be unique, and the primary lines mentioned in just some paragraphs above are still going strong.
Valentino S.p.A is the definition of power, elegance, romance, and chic all in each piece.
In addition, the brand has remained strong thanks to the quality of the materials used. Although you would expect all luxury brands to meet this, Valentino is quite picky and special in this.
Thus, whenever someone purchases any of the clothing lines, it comes with great joy and surprise and creates a trend; it doesn’t follow others.
How Much Is Valentino? – Knowing the Merchandise
Can you afford any of the items? What about a pair of pants or maybe a shirt?
Valentino, just like any luxury brand, isn’t cheap for most people. But you can afford some of the items in case you are willing to spend the money.
We will be going over the price ranges for each line and collection. This includes more than just clothing, as Valentino sells other items today.
Keep in mind that some prices can vary depending on your country, and the list below is based on the USA:
- Bags: Over eight different designs and options of bags are available. However, the prices range between $2,690 and $4,500.
- Women’s collection: The ready-to-wear line includes coats, pants, shirts, dresses, and common items that range between $1,290 and $4,500.
- Shoes for women: Start at $790 and go up to $2,450.
- Accessories for women: Range from $150 and $1,590. They include rings, necklaces, earrings, brochures, bracelets, and more.
- Men’s collection: This ready-to-wear includes the same as women except for dresses and blouses. Items start at $450 and go up to $3,950.
- Bags for men: A different collection that falls into the men category starts at $850 and goes up to $1,750.
- Shoes for men: Range from $970 to $1,550.
- Accessories for men: Include bracelets, belts, wallets, and more. Start at $190 and get to $1,390.
- Women and men’s perfumes: The price depends on the quantity of the bottle. 10ML cost about $30, 30ML $75, 50ML between $90 and $135.
- Makeup: Primer, foundation, powder, lipsticks, blushes, eyeliners, mascara, eyebrow, and more. They start at $25 and can go as high as $100+.
Prices can also change based on the collection available.
Valentino doesn’t usually add old pieces or previous collections to the website and only in certain stores. Thus, prices are according to the current merchandise in November 2021.
Always a Favorite: Celebrities Wearing Valentino
Since it was founded, we have already mentioned that the brand has close ties with celebrities. This hasn’t changed over the years and continues to be a favorite, especially when it comes to red dresses.
Valentino is worn in many red carpets, and celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Adele, Will Smith, and Jennifer Lopez are a few we can mention.
When it comes to endorsements and sponsors, Naomi Campbell remains among the stars posing for the house. In fact, she takes part in many of the new campaigns.
Gwyneth Paltrow is another star added to the list, while Jessica Hart, Lady Gaga, Zendaya, and several K-pop stars are part of the sponsors and images of different campaigns.
Although most of the dresses worn on red carpets and even casually by celebrities are read, other colors and designs predominate.
Dakota Fanning, Sabrina Carpenter, Celine Dion, Emma Watson, and Angelina Jolie have been seen with many black, white, and multicolor designs.
The list just continues from here, and as for others who just love wearing it, you bet they don’t get tired at all.
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