OPINION | 90 years of Valentino: let’s celebrate a fashion icon

Publisher’s note: Mari Rodríguez Ichaso has been a contributor to Vanidades magazine for several decades. She is a specialist in fashion, travel, gastronomy, art, architecture and entertainment, a film producer and a style columnist for CNN en Español. The opinions expressed in this column are solely his own. Read more opinion pieces at cnne.com/opinion.

(CNN Spanish) — “It’s not my fault that I adore beauty,” designer Valentino Garavani told me in our first interview years ago. And when we both laugh (he very quietly and politely, me roaring) we set the tone for our lovely conversations through the years. Interviews that I treasure as lessons in good taste and in an authentic and very pure creativity.

And now – when the wonderful and iconic designer has turned 90 – the world of fashion and celebrities has enthusiastically congratulated and honored him. As it deserves!

Because few creators have a color with their name: Valentino Red or Valentino Red – a pure and intense red, which for years was their favorite and with which they created the most divine dresses in the world. And few designers have dressed the most famous women, and the most beautiful brides, like Queen Máxima of the Netherlands; Jackie Kennedy, at her wedding to Aristotle Onassis; Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez, at her wedding to Chris Judd; Elizabeth Taylor, at her wedding to Larry Fortensky; Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, and recently Nicola Peltz, in her marriage to Brooklyn Beckham, among many.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis with Aristotle Onassis

Ever since he was a child, in the small town of Voghera – in the Italian region of Lombardy – Valentino has been fascinated by fashion. “It was something magical”, he told me once, and little by little he worked tirelessly to achieve his triumphs. And since the foundation of his brand, in 1960, women all over the world have been fascinated by his designs, with which Valentino has wanted to “make us as beautiful as possible”, as he told me the last time we met, at the launch of one of his perfumes, in New York. Designs (no doubt expensive) with fabrics and cuts of exceptional quality, great purity of lines and a charming dose of femininity and elegance. 100% perfection.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 01: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) A model walks the runway during the Valentino as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on March 01, 2020 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

After his retirement in 2007, Valentino – who lives like a true “emperor of fashion”, in a wonderful French estate/palace and a divine apartment in Rome – continues to support and follow the collections that bear his name, especially from that Pier Paolo Piccioli started creating them alone, in 2016. From 2007 to 2008, they were created by Alessandra Facchinetti, and from 2008 to 2016 Pier Paolo created them together with Maria Grazia Chiuri, who later went on to design Dior.

Again… Congratulations, Valentino!!

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 29: A model walks the runway during the Valentino Womenswear Spring/Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on September 29, 2019 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

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