I Don’t Need a Valentine–I Just Need Valentino

Since debuting his first collection at the Pitti Palace in Florence in 1962, Valentino Garavani has become not only one of the most recognizable names in fashion, but, arguably, one of the greatest designers of all time.

Born in 1932 in Voghera, Italy, Valentino soon became interested in the arts, and specifically, fashion. At the age of 17, Valentino left Voghera to study sketching at Milan’s Santa Maria Institute before attending the famous École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. During his time in Paris, Valentino won first prize in a fashion design competition, which also won him a coveted job at famous French couture house Jean Dessès, catapulting his career. From there, Valentino started his own, eponymous house in 1960 and debuted his first couture collection in 1962.

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Portrait of fashion designer Valentino Garavani on September 20, 1967.

From his humble roots as a boy from a small town outside Milan, Valentino quickly became internationally recognized for his sophisticated, classic designs, dressing celebrities and royalty alike; from Audrey Hepburn to Princess Margaret, and most notably, Jacquie Kennedy. Since then, Valentino has become a household name and an Italian icon. With his motto, “elegance is the balance between proportion, emotion, and surprise,” Valentino created stunning designs that fit elegantly and transcend the rapid changes of the fashion world. Although he retired from designing collections in 2008, Valentino’s designs live on. From his coveted rockstud collections, aptly named Valentino Garavani, to his trademarked red, rosso Valentino, Valentino Garavani has left a profound impact on the fashion world.

So, in honor of Mr. Valentino and his deep love of red, here are some pieces perfect for Valentine’s Day that will add a much-needed pop of color to a date night outfit and undoubtedly become your wardrobe staples.

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Valentino Small VCase Smooth Calfskin Bag, $2,145; Valentino.com Photo credit: Valentino.com

This classic red crossbody is perfect for dressing up your everyday look with its silver chain detailing or for adding a hit of red to an all-black nighttime ensemble.

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Call Me Valentino Charm Necklace with "C" and "H" charms. Necklace, $345; charms, $125 each; Valentino.com Photo credit: Valentino.com

This new take on the charm necklace is a subtle yet edgy addition to any look. With a signature rockstud at the center and a multitude of charms to choose from, this piece is perfect for personalization.

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Valentino Garavani Leather Sandal 60MM, $775; Valentino.com. Photo credit: Valentino.com

Finally, these stunning sandals can be paired with everything from jean shorts, to a silk skirt, to a classic LBD thanks to their low heel and alluring, radiant red color.

Carolyn Hammond

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