Valentino Garavani (1932- ) was born in Voghera, Italy, to an electrical engineer father. While in high school, Valentino apprenticed under Vogherese designer Ernestina Salvadeo. Upon graduation he moved to Paris to study at L'École des beaux arts and Chambre Syndicale de la haute couture parisienne and went to work for Jean Desse and Guy Laroche. Valentino moved to Rome in 1960 and set up his own couture house, the same year that he met his future business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti. His first show, in 1962, was a huge success and, in 1967, he launched his famous "V" logo, when he premiered the Valentino White Collection. His client list is extensive and includes Jackie Kennedy, who wore a Valentino dress for her wedding to Aristotle Onassis. Valentino's menswear is worn by Tom Cruise, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Alexander Gudunov, and Mathew Modine. He is best known for the clothing line Valentino Red, with its lively prints, feminine silhouettes, expert craftsmanship, and dramatic drop-dead eveningwear.
   Valentino's vast empire includes men's and women's couture collections, fragrance, makeup, accessories, jeans, and leatherwear; altogether he has more than forty licenses. His wealth and jetsetter lifestyle boasts an 84-foot yacht and homes in Rome, Gstaad, Capri, New York, and London.
   In 1984, Valentino presented his ready-to-wear in Paris under the French Couture Federation as well as showing in Rome. In 1990, he cofounded with Giammetti an association that supports victims of AIDS known as the L.I.F.E. Foundation. In 1998, Valentino was sold to Italy's Holding di Partecipazion Industriali in a move that was intended to create a rival luxury group to Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton. However, in 2002, Valentino was sold to Marzotto Apparel, a company whose portfolio consists of Hugo Boss, Marlboro Classic, Gianfranco Ferre, and M Missoni. The company was restructured and now appeals to a younger customer with Valentino Red, its less expensive contemporary line, and Valentino Roma, an evening and daywear diffusion line. Young Hollywood stars Kate Hudson, Kate Beckinsale, and Cate Blanchett have discovered Valentino. In 2005, Valentino launched the fragrance V with Procter & Gamble and expanded its stores to twenty in Japan and five in the United States. In 2006, Valentino received France's distinguished Légion d'Honneur.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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