Valentino History Case Study – The Man and The Brand

Valentino History Case Study - The Man and The Brand


Fashion today has so much to do with branding. Fashion companies have their unique set of trademarks and features that stand out from others. This is the same with almost every other product, even beyond the fashion world. If someone likes your dress or an accessory you put on, they tend to ask what brand it is. The brand name often has a sense of value attached to it. 

In today’s fashion world, especially regarding Luxury fashion, there are a few brand names at the top of the list of brand names. Brands like Chanel, Versace, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino are among the top luxury fashion brands in 2021. You may have one or two of Valentino’s garments, or you have seen one on a friend or movie star that you liked. You might have wondered whose idea it was to start up a brand with such a high level of excellence and creativity. 

There is no better way to describe a brand and what it stands for than to look into its history and observe how and where it started, looking through its stages of evolution till the present day. Valentino has been around for a long time, and you probably have heard the name for so many years. This article will provide you with detailed information on Valentino History, looking at the man whose name is Valentino and the brand he created. 

  • The man Valentino 
  • The brand Valentino History

The man Valentino 

The Genesis

The Valentino fashion brand is a creation of a man who goes by the name Valentino. Valentino’s full name is Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, popularly known as Valentino Garavani. He was born on the 11th of May, 1932, in Lombardy, Italy. Valentino’s parents are Mauro Garavani (his father) and Teresa De Biaggi (his mother). Valentino is currently 89 years old, and he is the founder of Valentino SpA company.

Valentino developed a keen interest in fashion and art from a very tender age. Being yet a child, he was introduced to the fashion world as a fashion designing student. He was once an apprentice under his aunt, whose name was Rosa. Valentino started his fashion line in Rome in 1959 after his formal training in Paris. He studied at École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. 

The Profession

Valentino started his profession at the salons of Jean Dessès and Guy Laroche. With support from his father, he left Paris for Rome in 1959 and opened a fashion house. He started to showcase at fashion shows, where he started to gain recognition and acceptance. From his performances, people noticed his garments made of fabrics in a peculiar shade of red. His fame began spreading because of his special red garments called Rosso Valentino or Valentino red. In about a year, several famous women already had Valentino as their favourite designer. Valentino is known as the protagonist of International fashion.

In 1960, he met Giancarlo Giammetti, a student of architecture in Rome at the time. Valentino and Giammetti became partners (both professionally and romantically) within a short while. The duo built the company into the international luxury fashion company that it is today. In 1962, He had his international debut at Florence (the Italian fashion capital), Italy. This introduced him to many dignitaries and prestigious persons from around the world. 

Valentino has received many awards since its inception until date, among which are; the prestigious Neiman Marcus Fashion Award (1967), Italian highest officials award (1986), Cavaliere del lavor (1996), and Legion d’honneur (2006), among many others. Valentino has, over the years, made a strong imprint in the world of fashion, especially in Italy. He was even once referred to as the pinnacle of Italian style. Valentino retired in 2008.

As a fashion designer, Valentino has made a name for himself; starting from a young boy with a passion for fashion, he became an international luxury fashion company owner. However, The brand Valentino also has evolved over about 61 years. Let us take a look at the history of the brand Valentino.

The Brand Valentino History 

The kickoff of Valentino

The family often plays a vital role in the start-up of most successful businesses today. We can trace back the success of Valentino today to the input of the family. Valentino started the Valentino company with the backing of his father. In 1960, today’s Valentino SpA company started with Valentino Garavani opening a fashion house on Via Condotti in Rome. Although Valentino Garavani founded it, Valentino is currently owned by Qatari Mayhoola for Investments Spc. Valentino is a brand in the fashion industry

The Controversy 

There are two famous brands today that use Valentino. Many have often mixed them up or taken one for another. In 1952, another person with the Valentino name started a brand specializing in making leather products like shoes and bags. Valentino Garavani, in 1960 created a fashion company with more focus on clothing, although the brand also makes accessories, makeup, and even leather wears. As fame came, the two brands became competitors with the same name. 

The primary issue was about who owns the name Valentino. The other brand is known as Valentino by Mario Valentino. This other Valentino brand is often regarded as a copy of the luxury fashion brand owned by Valentino Garavani. This is because the company often imitates Garavani’s products. However, the price of these copy products is just a little above the average retail price, which makes it questionable to call it a luxury company, unlike Valentino Garavani’s Valentino. In 1979, both companies reached an agreement that permits them to share the name “Valentino” while maintaining their unique lines of products. Nevertheless, the two companies did not stop being competitors, although the Valentino luxury fashion brand by Valentino Garavani is widely considered out of Mario’s league.

The Valentino History

Valentino SpA (Società per azoni) has its headquarters in Millan, Italy. Stefano Sassi is the company’s current CEO, with Pierpaolo Piccioli as creative director. It is worthy of note that at inception, Valentino Garavani was the creative director till 2007 when Alessandra Facchinetti held the position for only a year. Piccioli took over entirely from Maria Grazia Chiuri, a co-creative director from 2008 to 2016. 

In 1998, they sold the company to an Italian conglomerate, HdP, at $300 million. In 2002, HdP sold Valentino to Marzotto apparel at $210 million. Finally, in 2012, the company was sold at €700 million to Qataris Aristocrats through Mayhoola for Investments SPC. However, after selling the company in 1998, Valentino was still the brand’s creative director till 2008, when he retired.

In 1969, Valentino’s first ready-to-wear shop was opened in Millan. This subsequently led to the opening of more stores in New York and Rome in 1970. Today Valentino is present in 100 countries worldwide with about 150 Valentino boutiques and supplies products to most countries globally. Check out her official website here

The Valentino Products

Valentino products include perfumes, glasses, watches, accessories, and clothing. As of 2008, the brand already had a net income of above €261 million. The Valentino company today has a net worth of about $1.5 billion. From its international debut in 1962, Valentino has continuously risen in fame and worldwide acceptance. In the past, Valentino has designed garments for a wide range of celebrities and iconic figures, including wedding dresses for Elizabeth Taylor, Jennifer Lopez, Sophie Hunter, and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

The Valentino trademark logo has a big ‘V,’ and her trademark colour is red. Although the company produces different colours of clothes, the trademark colour came from Rosso Valentino, which was what en-famed the brand initially. One of the most recent activities of Valentino is its relationship with L’oreal, which birthed the Valentino beauty line in May 2021. Valentino Beauty line has products like the Valentino Red lipstick, among other makeup products

The Man and The Brand

After observing the flow of events over the years, it is difficult to separate Valentino Garavani from the Brand Valentino. Apart from starting the company, he was the creative director for about 48 years. What makes Valentino what it is are her products. Hence, you cannot separate the man behind the innovation of these products from the brand. Valentino Garavani was still the creative director for eight years after he stopped owning the company. Again, the man and the brand.

Although in recent times, specifically since 1998, the company has been transference from one owner to the other, Qatar has made her fourth owner with a four times change in the brand’s creative director since 2008. The company seems to hold a firm stance still. This can be credited to the foundation of the brand. It made it difficult for the company to crumble due to instability in ownership. Notwithstanding, we must call to mind the fall in the company’s value. Its selling price reduced from $300 million to $210 million before it finally rose back to €700 million at the last acquisition.  

Valentino Garavani with this company has influenced the world in terms of fashion, made available job opportunities to thousands of Valentino staff worldwide, and created a model brand for upcoming fashion designers and fashion companies to look up to. He did these through the instrumentality of the brand. 


The competition in the fashion industry today is inarguably higher than it ever was. So many fashion brands and products are being introduced yearly, and many small brands are being swallowed up by the big fishes in the fashion realm. However, Valentino Garavani presents an inspiring story of passion, persistence, excellence, and prowess. These virtues are more needed today than ever before, especially in a highly competitive industry. Also, if you have been using or admiring Valentino products, you now know how the brand got where it is today.

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Valentino History Case Study – The Man and The Brand This article provides information on the Valentino History case study. We will explore the man behind the brand and the Valentino brand.
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