Aquí tenéis la historia de la casa Valentino:
Since 1960, the house of Valentino has been a beacon of glamour, bathing its best-dressed clientele in the most scintillating of lights. From the start, its founder, Valentino Garavani, has worked by one simple precept: “I know what women want,” he once said. “They want to be beautiful.”
Growing up in provincial Voghera, Italy, young Valentino loved going to the movies. There, in the darkened cinema, he would enter a realm of otherworldly elegance. Valentino was in the thrall of the glittering goddesses of the silver screen. One film in particular, Ziegfeld Girl, left him with a lust for the beautiful life. “For me, a young guy of 13, to see this sort of beauty—I think from that moment I decide I want to create clothes for ladies,” he later said. Fortunately, the blue-eyed dreamer had an abundance of talent. He set out from Voghera, little imagining he would one day rival the Pope for popularity in Rome.
Valentino studied in Paris during the golden age of the haute couture. Afterward, he honed his skills in the salons of Jean Dessès and Guy Laroche. In late 1959, Valentino returned to Italy and opened the doors of his own lavishly appointed atelier, and began charming Rome’s elite. Success came easily to the handsome young designer. His dresses were clean and modern, yet unabashedly feminine—with bows, flowers, ruffles, lace, embroideries—always in the finest fabrics, always molto elegante. In his first collection, there appeared what would become his signature: a dress the color of poppies, later known as “Valentino red.”
On the Via Veneto the following summer, Valentino met his destiny in the form of Giancarlo Giammetti, an architecture student who would soon become his right-hand man. With their combined creative and business abilities, the pair would together build an empire. These were the days of La Dolce Vita, and Valentino was living the sweet life. Giammetti’s business model could easily be summed up as “If you build it, they will come.”
And come they did. Among the luminaries orbiting Valentino’s chic salon were the stylish socialites Marella Agnelli and Jacqueline de Ribes, as well as Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren, sirens of Cinecittà. Hollywood actresses Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn also came calling upon the Roman couturier.
Valentino’s fame soon spread to New York, where he added society swans such as Babe Paley to the finest feathers in his cap. Diana Vreeland, Vogue’s editor, took him under her wing as well, and by 1967 the “new darling of the eminently fashionable”—as Time called him—was dressing the world’s rarest beauties. “I have them all now,” he proudly told the newsweekly. Jacqueline Kennedy, who would for a time wear Valentino almost exclusively, counted him as a close friend.
In the coming decades, the company expanded into ready-to-wear, menswear, and a slew of lucrative licenses. Valentino was one of the first houses to stoke the public’s burning desire for logos, stamping the V monogram on housewares, jeans, shoes, umbrellas, even Lincoln Continentals. As the business grew, so did the fame of the man behind it. With his immaculate coif, crème brûlée complexion, and crisp Caraceni suits, he became the very image of an international arbiter of taste.
In July 2007, Valentino celebrated 45 years of luxury in high style. The glitterati flocked to Rome for a three-day gala, during which they were treated to a retrospective at the ancient Ara Pacis, dinner at the Temple of Venus, an aerial ballet, and a grand ball at the Villa Borghese. As fireworks sparkled overhead, it was clear to all assembled that Valentino was a living legend. That fall, the designer announced his retirement. “As the English say, I would like to leave the party when it is still full.” The following January, he walked his last runway to a standing ovation, blowing kisses and raising his hands to bestow his famous “papal benediction.”
Now under the creative direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the house of Valentino is turning out a new generation of “Val’s Gals,” distinctive young women who, like their forbears, are setting the bar for sophistication and glamour. Chiuri and Piccioli have been putting a fresh new spin on the maestro’s enduring leitmotifs. “It’s the same elements, but with a new attitude,” Chiuri told Vogue.co.uk in 2009. “It is more cool, modern, contemporary,” Piccioli added, “very uptown goes downtown.”