Valentino has confirmed the exit of one half of its creative director team; Maria Grazia Chiuri is leaving the fashion house, while her design partner Pierpaolo Piccioli will continue as sole creative director. The designers presented their final couture collection together for the brand in Paris last night.
The news won't have come as a huge surprise to the industry; speculation has been rife for weeks to suggest Chiuri's imminent appointment as creative director at Dior.
If confirmed, Chiuri will be the first-ever female creative director for the house, following John Galliano, Yves Saint Laurent and, most recently, Raf Simons, who stepped down unexpectedly last October.
The finale at Valentino's couture presentation last night in Paris. Getty Images
While the last six months have been something of a turbulent time for Dior, which has experienced a slow in sales without a creative director, it is a rather different story for Valentino (which is owned by Qatari investment company Mayhoola). Thanks to the much-lauded designs of Chiuri and Piccioli, the brand announced profits of over Dhs3 billion in 2015.
A statement on behalf of Valentino confirmed Chiuri's exit "to pursue a new professional experience," after 17 years at the brand - eight of which were as co-creative director.
"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," Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi told WWD. "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."
Via Harper's Bazaar UK