Update 09/07/16: After rumours started swirling last month, Valentino have officially confirmed the departure of co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri as she prepares to take up the post at Dior.
Chiuri will become the first ever female Creative Director of the iconic fashion house in its 69 year history.
"I measure the tremendous responsibility of being the first woman in charge of a house so deeply rooted in the pure expression of femininity,” Chirui said in a statement. “I cannot wait to express my own vision.”
"Seventy-five per cent of Dior staff are women," Sidney Toledano, Dior Couture chief executive, tells the Business of Fashion. "Having a woman at the label is in keeping with the changing times. [Britain] will have a female PM, American might have a female president. Fashion isn’t involved in political, social or economic matters on the surface. But it reflects a changing mood."
"There’s a new generation coming and the women of today have a very important role in the world’s future," he continued.
Chiuri’s co-creative director Pierpaolo Picciolo at Valentino will move into the position of sole creative director of the brand.
"After 25 years of creative partnership and of professional satisfactions we gave ourselves the opportunity of continuing our artistic paths in an individual way with the reciprocal desire of further great achievements," Chiuri and Piccioli said in a joint statement.
"Everything achieved in these years would have been impossible without Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s talent, determination and vision that together have contributed into making Valentino one of the most successful fashion companies,” added Stefano Sassi, chief executive of Valentino.
"A new and exciting phase for the brand begins under the creative leadership of Pierpaolo Piccioli. The brand is strongly determined to continue its affirmation and development process accomplished in the past years."
Original Story 24/06/16:The fashion world is abuzz with talk that Maria Grazia Chiuri, one half of the dream team at Valentino, is poised to step into the role of creative director at Dior. The job at the helm of the iconic French house has been vacant since the departure of Raf Simons in October.
Recent collections have been (very capably) designed by Simons’ remaining in-house team.
WWD reports that “Christian Dior has finalized a contract that will make Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri its seventh couturier,” although there has been no formal announcement. If the rumours are true, Chuira would be the house’s first female couturier.
After Mr Dior died in 1957 he was succeeded briefly – and spectacularly – by his former assistant, the 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent. Marc Bohan took over from him, dressing the likes of Grace Kelly in floral patio dresses that look a bit like Gucci’s do today (although much more formally styled).
Bohan stuck around for ages before Gianfranco Ferré took over in 1989. Next came John Galliano, who spent 15 years in the top job, creating some of the house’s most theatrical shows.
Raf Simons is a hard act to follow. Widely acclaimed as a genius, he starred in the riveting 2014 doco Dior and I, revealing just how pressured working on this level is.
But if anyone can do it, Chiuri can – she’s another fashion magician, creating jaw-droppingly beautiful collections at Valentino, with her design partner Pierpaolo Piccioli. But what will happen to him? What will happen at Valentino? The suspense is killing us. Fashion’s game of musical chairs is better than a soap opera.