The Unstoppable Rise of Valentino
Valentino women's clothing has experienced its own meteoric and steady ascent since 1959. Designer Valentino Garavani relocated from Florence to Rome, which would become a global reference brand for women.
Everything happened rapidly. From the brand's first presentation in 1959, with a colour palette inspired by Bizet's opera Carmen, the first Valentino women's collection quickly forged its image in the collective imagination.
Its key codes for Valentino clothing were established: romanticism, women's liberation, and a new way of representing the beauty of feminine delicacy. Silhouettes in tulle (like the famous Fiesta dress), passionate colours, and artistic and suggestive references to the beauty of flowers, the Valentino brand assumed a new role in the industry.
The era of designer Valentino Garavani
Shortly after launching his eponymous brand, Valentino Garavani met his life and business partner, Giancarlo Giammetti. His entry into Valentino was crucial for the business, which now had a guide for the business world. The brand moved from Florence (the fashion capital of the time) to Rome, where it still maintains its operational centrality today.
Known for its dresses in the famous Valentino red colour, the Italian brand began to embark on a path of success. Jackie Kennedy, an influential figure for many brands we now know, requested Valentino's presence in her wardrobe after seeing his creations. Their relationship evolved from commercial to friendly, dressing her during her year of mourning for President J.F. Kennedy and at her wedding to Aristotle Onassis. During this era , the famous V logo, still present in all its collections, was born.
His clothing from this era was known for a dance between leading the trends of the moment and making constant references to the classic fashion of previous decades. Throughout its evolution, Valentino clothing was known for very feminine collections, showcasing the beauty of women's clothing, translating romantic silhouettes into current colours and trends with a touch of nostalgia for classic femininity.
Upon retiring from the scene in January 2008 with a standing ovation from the industry, designer Valentino Garavani left behind a legacy built on understanding the trends of his time and reinforcing the luxury and opulence of his clients at the time.
Where the muses chant: Valentino with Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo
Maria Grazia Chiuri (currently the creative director at Dior) and Pierpaolo Piccioli were appointed as the brand's accessories directors when Garavani retired. There was no doubt that Valentino handbags were an essential component of the brand (what the industry calls an entry-level product, or an item through which customers access a brand). The success of Valentino handbags, with clutches and handbags to complement their evening dresses, now entered what seemed like a new phase under the creative direction of the creative duo. This continued until a year later when Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo were appointed to oversee the entire design of the maison.
Their collections for Valentino were characterised by an almost fantastical character. While Valentino Garavani's clothing ranges emphasised the luxury and opulence of powerful women, Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo brought their vision to a more ethereal space. Their collections seemed to represent a world of fantasy, where legends of fairies, witches, and charming princesses are told.
Romanticism took on a much more significant role during this period, from 2009 to 2016; seven years of emphasis on a Valentino woman with much more delicate and otherworldly haute couture. Until in 2016, Pierpaolo took on complete creative responsibility for the Valentino brand.
A star is born: Valentino by Pierpaolo Piccioli
Valentino by Pierpaolo Piccioli seems like one of those perfect alignments that we would only find in a fairy tale. His understanding of the Valentino woman and his connection with youth, largely inspired by his teenage daughter, has made Valentino a new beacon of modernity for young people without losing its touch of romanticism. This romantic character, a word emphasised to perfectly define the essence of the brand, now translates into a display of artistic mastery and maximalism.
While it was never a minimalist brand, the new Valentino by Pierpaolo Piccioli uses large three-dimensional reliefs, floor-length dresses, kilometre-long silks, deafening colours, and a character that turns excess and opulence into a classic and contemporary Valentino. The original essence of Valentino Garavani is now translated into runway shows that have brought back the brand's richness and luxury, placing it as a must-have on all red carpets and major global galas.