National Valentino Day | Fashion’s Most Avid Pet Owner | The Caroline Doll

In honor of National Valentino Day tomorrow, I wanted to share a little about one of fashion’s most avid pug owners, Valentino himself. “I don’t care about the collection,” he once said. “My dogs are more important.” Yes, Molly, Margot, Maude, Maggie, Monty and Milton (sadly now deceased) are more important than his fashion empire known to all by a distinct shade of red! 


I can totally relate, though. And that is why I wanted to start with that furry anecdote. I can have a meeting with Tiffany & Co. one morning, but if my 12 year old baby poodle, Lola, or Penelope or Louis, my Maltese babies need to go to the vet — we are going to the vet! (Especially Lola, who has a collapsed trachea!)


Okay, okay. Enough about fur babies. Let’s learn a little about Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani!

Few people are born knowing exactly what they want to do with their life or where they want to go. Valentino is among the few. Born on May 11, 1932 in Voghera, Italy. From a young age, he worked as an apprentice for his aunt Rosa and a local designer Ernetina Salvadeo. He studied French and fashion design at Milan’s Academia dell’Arte, with the help of his parents and at 17, moved to Paris to study at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts and then at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. After his studies, Valentino acquired several apprenticeships under world renowned fashion designers such as Jacques Fath, Balencigaga Jean Dessès and Guy Laroche. During his time as an apprentice, Valentino sketched anything and everything, developing a distinct style that included white pleats and animal prints. By 1960, the time had come for Valentino to combined Parisienne style with Italian craftsmanship and open his own fashion house in Rome. Valeninto was among the first to bring a real “maison de couture.” He built a fashion home for grandeur in Rome, flying in models straight from Paris!

Ironically, the eponymous ‘Valentino red’ belongs to a man who rose to prominence for his ‘no-colour collection!” In 1967, at a time when decadent color and pattern were the fashion du jour, Valentino was awarded the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award for this collection that dawned beige, white and ivory hues. Valentino’s collection caught the eye of Jackie Kennedy and for the year following President Kennedy’s death, her wardrobe included a black and white Valentino collection made for her! Soon after, Valeninto’s glitterati consisted of the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Gloria Guinness and Andy Warhol. 

From the rock stud, Valeninto red, and high-neckline fashion, Maison Valentino’s brand icons have carried through the decades of ever-changing fashion. Adherence to la dolce vita and nothing less than, has sealed Valentino into the brand that it is, and forever will be!