There’s been a rather disruptive shuffle in the fashion industry this year, with many design houses having their creative directors step down for various reasons. And now we can look to design house Valentino to continue the trend. Maria Grazia Chiuri is officially leaving her eight-year position as co-creative director at the label to join Dior as its new creative director.
Chiuri and now-sole creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli have been working together in fashion for a total of 25 years, with 17 years alone being within the Valentino house. The design duo showed their final collection as a team on Wednesday evening, at the Valentino fall 2016 couture show, which took place in Paris. But from here on out, Valentino will have a single creative director, which Pierpaolo Pierpaolo has naturally been appointed.
“Valentino and the people with whom I work with are a great part of my life,” the creative director began. “My decision of bringing forward the creative guide of this Maison is driven by the strong passion that triggers my work and by the desire of continuing to express here my stylistic vision.”
It’s pretty clear to see that the Valentino design aesthetic will be just fine, especially since it’s remaining in familiar and trustworthy hands. Chiuri, on the other hand, will be moving on “to pursue a new professional experience.” And, as of yesterday, it has been officially announced that Maria Grazia Chiuri has been appointed the first female creative director at Dior. This decision is no real surprise, as speculations of this have been floating around the rumor mill for quite some time.
But as predetermined as this decision might have been, the leap will be rather large for the designer, since she is splitting apart from the designer whom she has grown so close to. In a farewellesque statement, Chiuri chose to express her gratitude to people like Valentino Garavani himself, Giancarlo Giammetti (Valentino’s business partner), and CEO Stefano Sassi, as well as the rest of the working staff of the design house.
She also took time to note how she has “shared with Pierpaolo a great part of my professional life, and it has been an experience made of many successful creative achievements together.” This departure may seem sad, but she did end on a high note, stating how she is “ready to embark on a new professional challenge.
The two designers also came together to release a joint statement on Thursday, in which they detailed their 25-years together “of creative partnership and of professional satisfactions,” and explained their mutual agreement on continuing their “artistic path in an individual way.”
But regardless of where the two designers will be and are today, it is hard not to recognize that Valentino has soared in revenue and popularity in their time working together for the label; the house achieved a feat of more than $1 billion in revenue, which correlated with the 48 percent increase that was noted in sales.
CEO Sassi took the time to release a statement of his own, regarding such feats reached with the two designers at the helm. He noted that Valentino has since become “one of the most successful fashion companies.”
He also expressed her excitement at transitioning into a phase where only Piccioli has the reigns. “The brand is strongly determined to continue its affirmation and development process accomplished in the past years.”
Photo courtesy of Vogue