World-renowned Italian designer Valentino announced his retirement from fashion, just months after a three-day celebration in Rome honouring his extraordinary career as a fashion icon. In a letter announcing his retirement, Valentino stated that the celebration in Rome ‘was a magic moment, one which certainly can never be repeated. It would be impossible to equal the emotions and joy I felt for the friendship and consideration that was shown to me on that occasion’. He added, ‘I believe this is the perfect time to say goodbye to the world of fashion. As the English say: I’d like to leave the party when it’s in full swing’.
After 45 years of dressing the world’s most beautiful and famous women, including Princess Grace of Monaco, Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren, Valentino admitted that he owed his success to ‘never following trends’ and following the principle ‘keep things simple’.
Although his fashion house is located in Rome, where his drawings and creations will soon be housed in a special museum, the Italian designer began showing his haute couture collections in Paris 17 years ago. His final prêt-a-porter show will be staged in October, and his final haute couture collection is scheduled for view in January 2008, both in Paris.
In a statement to the press, Valentino has stated that he will now dedicate himself to new activities and interests, such as creating institutions to promote and support design and fashion.