The iconic Italian fashion designer was not always as popular as he is today. In 1959 Valentino opened a fashion house in Rome with the help of his father and an associate. Soon after, he met his future business partner Giancarlo Giammetti at a local cafe and a long lasting friendship grew. A year went by and so much money had been spent that his associate pulled out of the company. Valentino’s work finally got recognized in 1962 at the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy. It wasn’t soon after that he became known as the “maestro” of Italian couture. Receiving fashion awards and dressing stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis he knew he had become a true success. In 1966, he moved his shows from Florence to Rome where he achieved one of his all time success’, an all white collection with his signature “V” logo. In 1998, Valentino and his partner Giammetti sold the company for $300 million to HdP, the head of Fiat. Later, Valentino announced that he would fully retire in January of 2008. Today, Valentino keeps busy in the fashion industry by making appearances at all of the fashion events he can. His label celebrated its 50th anniversary this past year. To view the Valentino Spring 2013 resort collection, click here.