In the film Valentino: The Last Emperor, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti discuss how they met on 30 July 1960 in Via Veneto, the epicenter of Rome's Dolce Vita. Ever since they have been together for more than 50 years, even if their love relationship ended in 1972. As told by Giancarlo in his private memoirs, in 1973 Valentino met nineteen-year-old Carlos Souza at Hippopotamus club in Rio de Janeiro, dating him until Carlos would eventually marry Brazilian socialite Charlene Shorto in 1983. Valentino and Giancarlo would later become the godfathers of Charlene and Carlos' sons, Sean and Anthony. Carlos and Charlene would work as PR for the Maison Valentino even after their divorce in 1990, keeping a close relationship.
As narrated in "Private" by Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino in the early 1980s met his current boyfriend Bruce Hoeksema, who started as a model at Valentino to later become the vice president of the Maison. Giancarlo Giammetti said that he and Valentino together with Carlos family and Bruce form a real family. Part of this enlarged family called the "tribe" is composed by Spanish Duchess Naty Abascal, Princess Georgina Brandolini of the Agnelli family and Valentino PR Daniela Giardina. Valentino's mother, Teresa, moved from Voghera to Rome to help with the business. Eventually he told both his parents that he was engaged to Italian actress Marilù Tolo, the only woman he had ever truly loved and with whom he had wished to have children. Valentino and Giammetti's lifestyle has been considered flamboyant. John Fairchild, editor-at-large at Women's Wear Daily and W, told Vanity Fair,
Valentino and Giancarlo are the kings of high living. Every other designer looks and says, ‘How do they live the way they do?’ I don’t think they made the money that Valentino and Giancarlo did, because Giancarlo knows how to make money. If they did, they didn’t spend the money like Valentino. No other designer ever did. 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.
Valentino adores dogs to the point that he once named a second line of clothing after his late pug Oliver. Today Valentino owns six pugs: the mother, Molly; her sons, Milton and Monty; and her daughters, Margot, Maude and Maggie. When traveling on his 14-seat Challenger jet, three cars are needed to move Valentino and his entourage to the airport: one to move Valentino and Giammetti, another for the luggage and the staff, and a third to transport five of six Valentino's pugs as one of them, Maude, always travels with Valentino.
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