Giancarlo Giammetti is an avid photographer. Since his youth, he has amassed more than 50,000 images—and many of them, as you’d imagine—are well and truly amazing. A portion of those pictures make their public debut in Private: Giancarlo Giammetti, Mr. Giammetti’s highly visual autobiography published this month by Assouline.
The book is divided into four sections. The first, “Early Days,” tracks Mr. Giammetti from his birth in Rome during World War II, up to his chance meeting with Mr. Valentino at a café on the Via Veneto in 1960, at the very apex of “La Dolce Vita.” The second section, “The Tribe,” pays homage to the eclectic group of lifelong friends Mr. Giammetti and Mr. Valentino have assembled over their five decade-plus relationship.
“Work” is the book’s third section, and much as you’d expect, it covers Mr. Giammetti’s profound achievements building the Valentino brand. As the book reaffirms, he was a pioneer in practices in advertising, licensing and ready-to-wear that are now standard through the luxury fashion world.
Appropriately, the final section of Private is titled “Society,” and it documents a part of Mr. Giammetti’s life that is still going strong. To wit, this is the part of the book that recalls Mr. Giammetti’s encounters with, well, the most glamorous people who have ever lived. Walking barefoot with Jackie O. in Capri. Teaching Madonna how to ski in Gstaad. Etc. Times may have changed in Rome since Mr. Giammetti met Mr. Valentino in 1960, but wherever they go and whatever they do, it’s always La Dolce Vita.