Valentino Garavani has always strived to make women ''look and feel beautiful''.

The famed fashion designer - who runs the Italy-based Valentino label - reflected on his 60-year career, revealing he's always had the same goals when it comes to his work.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, he said: ''I had the same ambitions then [at the start of my career] that I have had throughout my career: excellence in my work, making women look and feel beautiful, imposing my own style and having fun with my designs.''

The 80-year-old fashion impresario has sought inspiration for his designs from costumes in Hollywood films and by French fashion.

He explained: ''I was always inspired by seeing glamorous American movie stars in clothes by the costume designer Edith Head; and when I was working with Jean Desses and Guy Laroche in Paris I was influenced by French couture and the luxurious lives of French women. The quality of the fabrics and embroidery I saw at their ateliers had a big impact on me.''

Valentino credits his long-term partner, Giancarlo Giammetti with establishing the label as a major fashion empire.

He recalled: ''It was Giancarlo who started to grow the business. We moved to via Gregoriana, where we had 100 people in the atelier. Giancarlo decided that I should show my collections in Florence as it was a very important market.

''It all took off for me when the buyers of the American department stores Bloomingdale's, Saks, Macy's and Neiman Marcus discovered me there.''