Valentino Garavani was born in Voghera, Italy in 1932. He studied French and fashion design at the Academia de'll Arte in Milan and moved to Paris in the early 1950s. He cut his teeth as assistant designer to the great Jean Desses, who's style is shown reflected in homage in many of Valentino's later work. In the mid to late 1950s he worked with Guy Laroche then in 1960 he returned to Italy to start his own company in Rome. By 1962 he was already a star, in 1965 he received the Neiman Marcus Award, and from then he continued on to become one of the worlds top designers.