The history of the Valentino brand
This Italian fashion house has been shaping and defining the concept of luxury, class and timeless style for decades. The history of the Valentino brand is therefore a story of success and passion for fashion that has managed to stand the tests of time while maintaining its authentic beauty. From its humble beginnings in Rome, where the idea was born, to its global influence and legacy today, we will discover the roots and development of this fashion legend and see how it has evolved over the decades. We’ll take a closer look at both the designers’ creativity and the influential moments that made the Valentino brand one of The 10 most expensive brands in the world.
Beginnings – Dolce Vita of the 1960s.
The history of the Valentino brand dates back to the 1960s, when a young Italian, Valentino Garavani, decided to revolutionize the world of fashion. It was a time when the clothing market seemed to be buzzing with new energy, a Italy has become the epicenter of creativity and new trends. Valentino himself was born in Voghera, a small town in Lombardy, on May 11, 1932. He was interested in fashion from an early age, gaining his first experience working for local designers and tailors, including his aunt, Rosa.
From the very beginning, the boy clearly felt that clothing design was the closest art to him, which prompted him to further develop in artistic fields. Thanks to the support of his parents, he had the opportunity to study at a renowned university École des Beaux-Arts in the French capital. This is where Paris, breathed with life he also began his professional practice, working in salons founded by Jean Dessè and Guy Laroche.
In 1960, in the heart of the eternal city of Rome, Valentino opened his first boutique with the help of Giancarlo Giammetti, with whom he not only established business partnerships, but also a long-term friendship. Together they created the Valentino brand with a recognized position on the international arena. Valentino drew inspiration from “Dolce Vita” Italy of that time, which was reflected in his designs. Designer’s debut showed not only elegant, but also bold outfits that reflected the spirit of freedom and independence of the era. His works are, on the one hand, refined, and on the other hand, bold experiments with form and color, which made them unique.
One of the most breakthrough moments in Valentino’s career was the introduction of “Valentino Red” in 1967. This saturated, deep shade of red has not only become the brand’s hallmark, but also a symbol of class and sophistication. “Valentino Red” has become the Caesar of the red color in the fashion world, extremely desirable and inspiring other designers to experiment with color. In the same year, Messrs. Garavani and Giammetti were also honored with a prestigious award from Marcus Neiman.
The Haute Couture era
Within a few years brand history Valentino gained momentum and the company gained enormous popularity. Designers hailed her “Queen of Rome”. In the 1970s and 1980s, Garavani gained recognition primarily for his stunning haute couture creations. Evening dresses and evening outfits that won the hearts of models, actresses and aristocrats were the brand’s hallmark. Valentino received his next award in 1989 and this was it title of Commander of the Legion of Honor. It is the highest distinction in France awarded for outstanding achievements in various fields.
Garavani loved creating outfits for specific people and specific occasions. He was a detailer who took personal care of every detail of his creations. Airy dresses, elegant costumes, fitted trench coats and the iconic red color, which was named “Rosso Valentino” in his honor – these are the quintessence of his style. It is no wonder that the brand’s projects have received such wide attention internationally. The fashion house’s clients included numerous film and stage stars, as well as politicians’ wives, including: Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis.
The most iconic collections – the history of the Valentino brand
Over the years, the fashion house has created many iconic collections that remain a source of inspiration for designers around the world. In addition to the previously mentioned collection Valentino Red Collection (1967 ), i.e. a sensual and elegant version of classic evening dresses, a few others are worth mentioning. An interesting example is undoubtedly Marie Antoinette Collection from 1973, full of dresses with sweetheart necklines and beautiful tulle sleeves, all created as an expression of inspiration from the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.
In the 1990s, Valentino gained recognition for his bold experiments with contrasts. Collection Punk-Chic Collection (1994) it combined punk sensitivity with the elegance of haute couture, which was a stark contrast in the fashion of that time. At a time when minimalism dominated, Valentino focused on extravagance and sharp contrasts. The designer decided to use elements typical of punk culture, such as: studs, threads, and rawness in materials, and then incorporate them into unique, high-quality creations. It was a manifestation of courage and artistic experiment, which showed that fashion can be not only refined, but also exceptionally sensual and rebellious.
Although the designer sold his brand in the 1990s, this did not mean the end of its influence on the fashion world. In 2007, they took over as artistic directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, who introduced new energy to the brand. Their works referred to Valentino’s heritage, while introducing modernity and freshness. After taking over the fashion house, the brand moved towards a more romantic and delicate style. Opera Collection from 2008 is an example of this approach. This is a collection that exudes grace and beauty, and at the same time is modern and full of subtle details.
It is also worth mentioning the excellent one Rockstud Collection (2010). This iconic series of accessories introduced i shoes to the market evening bags with distinctive star-shaped rivets known as “rockstuds.” The collection, referring to the one released in 1994, also presented an interesting look Ethno-Punk Collection (2020). It was Pierpaolo Piccioli’s attempt to combine traditional ethnic patterns with the spirit of punk rebellion. This experimental approach to fashion that took place thirty years ago returns to the catwalk in a completely new, extraordinary version.
The history of the Valentino brand – what is it like now?
Therefore, it can be said that under the leadership of Pierpaolo Piccioli, the Valentino brand has undergone a transformation towards more romantic and delicate aesthetics. His designs are full of subtlety, lace details, pastel shades and airy fabrics. This is romanticism in the form of haute couture. And yet Valentino still remains faithful to the haute couture tradition. The headquarters in Rome continues to be the heart of the brand, and each collection reflects the spirit of Italy, the craftsmanship of craftsmen and the passion of designers. This commitment to craftsmanship and quality continues to be the foundation of the brand.
The brand has undergone many changes, but still remains true to its classic roots. Valentino’s designs are a combination of classic and modern, which makes them attractive to both older and younger generations. The history of the Valentino brand is not only a fascinating story of success, but also a source of valuable lessons and inspiration for future entrepreneurs, fashion designers and lovers of the fashion world. It shows that inspiration can be found in various places, such as culture, art, history or even music. It is an encouragement to look for creative sources of inspiration and constantly develop your vision. You can also read on our blog the history of the Hugo Boss brand and Versace.