Iconic fashion designer Valentino Garavani admits he was initially skeptical when he was pitched the concept of an extensive virtual museum, to be known as Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum and available as a downloadable desktop application, reported WWD.
“A virtual museum was not easy to understand,” he explained at a press conference, reported WWD. “Then, little by little, I started to change my thinking and to get fascinated by this virtual world.”
Valentino’s longtime business partner, designer Giancarlo Giammetti, created a video chronicle of the digital museum, including taped interviews and images of momentous occasions such as Jacqueline Kennedy sporting Valentino for her marriage to Aristotle Onassis and Julia Roberts accepting her Oscar in a vintage Valentino gown.
The site features more than 5,000 documents in a 3D-building format.
Holding true to his passion for designing and drawing, Valentino will fashion new items for the site in the future.
“I see it as part of my legacy,” Valentino said of the site to WWD in November. “I am happy that thousands of students, young designers and fashion people will be able to see and study my work in every aspect of it, and in a manner easy and accessible for the younger generations. But it is also important to remember things of the past, to review the fashion that has shaped our lives. I would call it ‘Future Memory.’”
Anne Hathaway, who hosted the conference, described the website as ““a revolution, and I do not think that the word is hyperbolic.” Italian Vogue Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani admired the groundbreaking concept during her remarks.
Although two years in the making, the site is still a work in progress, Giammetti maintained.
“We thought the museum is done and tomorrow we can relax, but in fact it’s not true at all,” he said. “Tomorrow, we start working on how to develop more things, and how to keep up with the new technologies.”
Valentino and Giammetti hesitated to commit to the idea of opening a brick-and-mortar museum, revealing it was less probable. Giammetti repudiated the claim that the two decided to go with an online museum as they were unable to obtain space in a Rome museum.
“It has nothing to do with this,” he said. “The Valentino company still is discussing the possibility to do a Valentino museum with the mayor of Rome, but the mayor of Rome changes so many times. Every year, discussions have to start all over again. I don’t think it will ever happen, but it’s not for this that we did a virtual museum.”
Through this platform designer hopes to make his top designs available to the international fashion community, especially students, whether or not he is tech-savvy himself. As Giammetti notes, “Somebody still has to turn the television on for him.”