Born and raised in Rome, Giambattista Valli holds a BA from Liceo as well a degree in Art.
Influenced by his city, his Roman roots, the movies of Antonioni and inspired by the discovery of French fashion through the watercolors of Yves Saint Laurent and the drawings of Gruau, Giambattista decided to pursue his dream by enrolling in fashion school, the Istituto Europeo del Design of Rome, in 1986.
In 1987 he began a foundation course in illustration at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.
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Returning to Italy, he worked in the studio of Roberto Capucci. In his role as Capucci's assistant, he was introduced to the dramatic Haute couture clothes and the bursting colours of the Roman master.
In 1990, after a two-year stint with Capucci, the Fendi family called him to oversee, as Senior Designer, the newly born Fendissime Line. There he experimented with prêt-à-porter in the world of the young hip Roman clientele.
Travelling restlessly between collections, he filled his imagination and mind continuously with many influences: India with Mina's songs, the New York of Halston, Antonio Lopez, and Bianca Jagger, Paris with Jeanne Moreau, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Jane Birkin, Fellini's costumes, Gena Rowlands, Louise Bourgeois... He also spent time with the women of the café society who would become an important source of inspiration for the times to come.
Two years later, in 1997, his two great dreams became a reality - moving to Paris, the city he adored since his teenage years, and the opportunity to combine his prêt-à-porter and Haute couture sensibilities - when he met Emanuel Ungaro.
He headed the design studio alongside the master until 2001, when the management appointed him Creative Director for the prêt-à-porter, the Ungaro Fever line, the accessories and licenses.
A few years later, Giambattista launched his own collection and in March 2005 held his first solo show in Paris. Giambattista Valli was thus born.
After the opening of its headquarters in the historic building where Jean-Baptiste Lulli once lived in Paris, Giambattista Valli opened its first store rue Boissy d'Anglas in the same building in December 2010. The 150 square meter space, is the first ever boutique dedicated entirely to Giambattista Valli ready-to-wear collections, furs and accessories including shoes, bags and jewelry.
Giambattista Valli shows four times a year during Paris Fashion Week. He also designs an eponymous line of accessories, has a deal with Italian top fur-maker Ciwifurs for his own fur coats and jackets and designs a line for the oldest sporting jackets manufacturer, Moncler. The brand has more than 245 selling points in 41 countries worldwide. His clothes have been worn by the likes of celebrities Penélope Cruz, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Diane Kruger, Halle Berry, Zoe Saldana, Julianne Moore, Brooke Shields and royalty like Her Majesty Rania of Jordan and princess Clotilde Courau.
For the March 2007 Paris fashion show Valli introduced loose and ample coats which were finely tailored with draped panels that undulated away from the body. His suits were shown with Pilgrim hats. Valli fashioned his suits to be lean and long to the knees, widening at the ankles.
- Giambattista Valli at the Fashion Model Directory
- http://www.giambattistavalli.com/ (requires flash)
- Neon, Crystals and Antennae in Battery Operated Paris, New York Times, March 3, 2007, pg. A.16.