Valentino Garavani Turns 90
By Dipl.-Ing. Yvonne Heinen-Foudeh, Senior International Correspondent Kennedy married the Greek millionaire Aristotle Onassis in October 1968, she wore a lace dress by Valentino, helping the Italian to world fame. Audrey Hepburn and Lady Diana are also later spotted in his gowns. "He took the made-in-Italy out into the world," actress Sophia Loren said of him, who accepted the Oscar for lifetime achievement dressed in Valentino. Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani celebrated his 90th birthday on May 11, 2022. Born in the northern Italian town of Voghera near Genoa, he retains only his first name as his stage name - today synonymous with one of the top luxury brands in the fashion segment. He was drawn to France at an early age, where he attended the Ecole de Chambre Syndicale. In the 1950s he started working for Jean Dessès in Guy Laroche's studio. At the age of only 26, he opened his own atelier in Rome's Via Condotti - still the most upscale shopping street in the Italian capital. Valentino became known in the mid-1960s with elegant haute couture evening gowns that attracted a prominent clientele. His style: the dresses of the Italian, always accompanied by his little Carlino dogs, are elegantly luxurious and never shocking. In the USA we call him the "Rolls-Royce of designers". The perfectionist is particularly fond of the color red. The fashion world has specially christened the color Valentino red. Addio of the MaestroIn January 2008, at the age of 75, Valentino Garavani retired from Valentino S.p.a., which he founded in 1960 together with Giancarlo Giammetti. The Alta Moda line in the same month, as well as the prêt-à-porter collection presented in Paris before the end of October that year, were his last. "The great event that celebrated 45 years of my work in Rome in July 2007 was a magical moment, certainly unrepeatable," Valentino explained at the time. He likes the idea of leaving when the party is still in full swing. Another wish still remains: Valentino himself once said that he dreams of dressing Britain's Queen Elizabeth (95). Who knows, maybe this dream of the 90-year-old will somehow come true after all - for the celebrations of what will actually be the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth II's accession to the throne on February 6, 2022, over four days in early June. How the master himself celebrates his 90th birthday these days, we could not research in time for the editorial deadline of this issue of The Needles Eye. Our congratulations, our respect for his creative and entrepreneurial achievements, and best wishes are assured. Valentino S.p.A. today Since 2012, Valentino has been controlled by Mayhoola for Investments LLC. The company is owned by the Emirate of Qatar. The luxury brand offers haute couture, prêt-à-porter, watches, jewelry, eyewear, and fragrances licensed in partnership with L'Oréal. It is present in more than 100 countries with 175 directly operated Valentino boutiques and more than 1,500 points of sale. Most recently, it generated total sales of €1.2 billion (US$1.36 billion). Chairman is Rachid Mohamed Rachid, a prominent Egyptian entrepreneur with investments around the world and former Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment in Egypt. Rachid is currently the founder of Alsara Investment Group, the chairman of Valentino, and the chairman of Balmain. CEO Jacopo Venturini, formerly in charge of merchandising for Gucci, is now chief executive officer of Valentino S.p.A., which is headquartered in Milan.