On the eve of his final couture show held in Paris on Wednesday, Valentino Garavani was telling Italian newspapers that business is ruining the fashion industry and that he wished he had had time to groom a successor before retiring.
Earlier this year, Permira, the private equity company, won a battle with The Carlyle Group for control of the Valentino business, which at the time was split up amongst several shareholders who had aligned themselves with different investors, leading to a down-to-the-wire battle for the venerable Italian fashion house. This may explain why Mr Valentino chose to use particularly strong language to describe the state of the fashion industry, telling Italy's Messagero newspaper that:
"The world of fashion has now been ruined. I got rather bored of continuing in a world which doesn't say anything to me. There is little creativity and too much business. The young are all doing the same things."