The 75-year-old Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, better known as just Valentino, has announced he will be stepping down at the company he founded over 45 years ago after just one more season.
The move really comes as no surprise, after Valentino's teary three-day blowout anniversary celebration in Rome this past July, attended by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Zac Posen and more. Throughout the history of the fashion house, the designer known for his extravagance and extreme penchant for the color red (John Fairchild once said in Vanity Fair: "When the terrorism first started in Rome—the period when the Red Brigades were kidnapping people—Valentino was riding around in a bulletproof Mercedes. And do you know what color the Mercedes was? Red. My God, I thought, you must want to get blown up.") has dressed the most iconic of figures, from Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis to Elizabeth Taylor.
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And, of course, because Valentino still remains as one of the strongest fashion houses around, a race for his replacement is on: speculations range inlclude former Gucci designer Alessandra Facchinetti, Yves Saint-Laurent prêt-à-porter director Stefano Pilati and the Proenza Schouler duo (Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez).