Valentino Garavani, Italian-style refinement.
Symbolic of the Dolce Vita associated with the 60's, the fashion house of Valentino Garavani has built a brand around finesse and elegance. Jacquard, embroidery, see-through effects, plays on textures and colours... Refinement is ever-present, even if the romantic inspiration of its beginnings has also evolved towards more modern pieces like the now-iconic leather trench coats. From haute couture to fashion accessories and ready-to-wear for women and men, Valentino Garavani manages to encapsulate the notion of Italian-style chic.
It was in 1962, three years after he partnered up with Giancarlo Giammetti to found the brand, that Valentino Garavani presented his first Valentino Garavani couture line for women. Called Collection Rouge Coquelicot, it focused on colour, which would go on to become the brand's signature. A few years later, the designer unveiled his Collection Blanche, dedicated to Jackie Kennedy, and established a principle that characterises the fashion house to this day: he organised his fashion shows around a dominant hue. It was also at this point that Valentino Garavani chose to enhance the clean lines of its clothes with small metal V-shaped elements corresponding to the brand's logo. One year later, it was the turn of the former first lady of the United States Jackie Kennedy to pay tribute to the dressmaker by choosing a white lace Valentino Garavani dress for her wedding with Aristote Onassis. A legend was born, and commercial success was set in motion. In the 70's and 80's, Valentino Garavani launched lines of luxury ready-to-wear for men and women, soon followed by a collection of accessories.
At Valentino Garavani, leather goods for women and men come in bold vibrant colours and a wide range of prints. They also make use of studs as decoration, like on the leather Rockstud handbag. Belts are adorned with gold or leather, hats take inspiration from the 50's, sunglasses play on sobriety or are embellished with rhinestones... Jewellery, watches, glasses, lightweight scarfs and Valentino Garavani head scarfs can also be found in the accessories range.
Tradition meets innovation.
In 2009, two years after Valentino Garavani retired, it was a pair of designers who finally took the helm of the brand's creative management. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. The duo implemented a programme of creative development, and decided to modernise Valentino Garavani's style, without, however, renouncing or deforming what it had been until that point. Finishings took on rock'n'roll overtones, with studs and leather fringes, while motifs were inspired by urban influences, with prints like camouflage and leopard print . The faces chosen to represent the brand are also proof of how much it has changed. If its first muse, Jackie Onassis, was the embodiment of worldly glamour, more recently personalities such as Dree Hemingway, Lottie Moss and Louis Garrel, have bestowed a more accessible image on the brand. In 2017, Pierpaolo Piccioli, who is now creative director, collaborated with Zandra Rhodes to present a collection of clothes with bohemian inspiration, adding a completely new style to their wardrobe.
Valentino Garavani has managed to update its style without forgoing any of its initial refinement. Whether in its new haute couture collections or its ready-to-wear lines, the label's key pieces embody this marriage of tradition and innovation: