Valentino in Rome with his models. (Photo by Pascal CHEVALLIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

As the legendary fashion designer Valentino Garavani celebrates his milestone 90th birthday on May 11, the founder’s namesake label is honoring the occasion with a special limited-edition piece, and the couturier’s hometown of Voghera, Italy, is hosting a grand exhibition of his work, opening today.

To celebrate its founding father and the “last emperor of fashion,” Valentino is releasing an exclusive “Happy Birthday Mr. V!” hoodie that features his famous quote, “I Love Beauty, It’s Not My Fault.” The hoodie is available for pre-order until May 23 and proceeds from the sweatshirt will be donated to the Fondazione Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, a non-profit focused on promoting culture and art.

 

SHOP NOW: Valentino “Happy Birthday Mr. V!” Cotton Hooded Sweatshirt, $990 via Valentino.com

The Italian city of Voghera, where Garavani was born, is honoring its famous resident with a site-specific installation at the theater, Teatro Sociale, to celebrate Garavani’s career.

Pieces from the ’60s through the 2000s will be featured, including iconic red dresses situated in the center of the stage. In addition to 36 designs, original sketches, studies, newspaper clippings, photographs, and documents that depict the spirit of the time in which the clothes made their debut, will be on display.

The exhibition opens to the public today, and will run through June 5.

Courtesy of Valentino

Wishing his predecessor a happy birthday, current Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli shared some thoughts with WWD. “I have always admired Valentino Garavani’s ability to transform his personal vision in a concrete creation,” he said. “During the ’60s, he imagined a charismatic woman and created her. Working with him allowed me to understand the man behind the legend, and the importance of human value, in anything you do. The major lesson I learnt from him is the constant search for beauty. This is what he has looked for during his whole career, with passion and determination.”

Courtesy of Valentino

Garavani’s longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti also shared some fond memories and birthday wishes with the outlet. After recalling a few special celebrations that took place at Studio54 and during epics travels, Giammetti said that they planned on a more intimate celebration this year.

“A birthday like this is certainly to be celebrated but Valentino prefers not to have big celebrations out of respect for the situation of the war — to see the horrors that pass before our eyes every day, it is not the atmosphere that inspires great celebrations,” he said, referencing the war in Ukraine.

“And then the real celebration this year is the exhibition in his honor that his hometown Voghera is preparing in the municipal theater, with 50 dresses in display and many celebrations…he wants to visit it as soon as possible.”

thoughts?