Valentino was founded in 1959 when Garavani opened a sumptuous fashion house on Via Condotti in Rome, Italy with the backing of his father and his father's associate. Valentino's international debut took place in 1962 in Florence, the Italian fashion capital of the time. After the breakthrough show in Florence, Garavani started to dress the ladies of the international best-dressed crowd such as his acquaintance from the Paris years Countess Jacqueline de Ribes and New York socialites Babe Paley and Jayne Wrightsman.
In 1966, confident of his client base, he moved his shows from Florence to Rome and there, two years later, he had one of his greatest triumphs, an all-white collection, which became famous for the "V" logo he designed. By the mid-1960s he was already considered the undisputed maestro of Italian Couture, receiving in 1967 the Neiman Marcus Award, the equivalent of an Oscar in the field of fashion. The Begum Aga Khan, Farah Diba, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Marella Agnelli and Princess Margaret were already customers as well as personal friends.