Valentino Confirms Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Exit

by Paige Reddinger

Valentino has officially confirmed Maria Grazia Chiuri’s exit from the Italian house and has appointed Pierpaolo Piccioli as the sole creative director. Chiuri is expected to be named the creative director at Dior. Rumors of her departure from Valentino have been circulating in Paris as early as May with some saying that there had been some friction between Chiuri and Piccioli. The news comes on the heels of the duo’s stunning Elizabethan-inspired couture show.

“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,” said Stefano Sassi, CEO of Valentino, in a statement. “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.”

There’s no doubt that both designers are huge talents, and according to Business of Fashion, in the first three months of 2016 Valentino reported a 9 percent rise in sales to 256 million euros (roughly $283 million at current exchange). The company also doubled its profit on revenue of more than $1 billion in 2015. Dior, on the other hand, reported a 1 percent drop in sales in the first quarter of 2016, but the French house generates about 5 billion euros (roughly $5.54 billion) in annual sales. Sixty percent of those sales come from its perfume and cosmetics line.

“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,” said Chiuri and Piccioli in a joint statement. Chiuri has been working at Valentino for 17 years, and spent the last eight as co-creative director with Piccioli.

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