Pret-a-Reporter

Dior Confirms Valentino's Maria Grazia Chiuri as New Artistic Director

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Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri

Pierpaolo Piccioli will now become Valentino's sole creative director.

Maria Grazia Chiuri is leaving Valentino after spending 17 years at the fashion house with Pierpaolo Piccioli (first as accessory designers until their most current role as co-creative directors), Pret-a-Reporter has confirmed.

Piccioli will be named the sole creative director of Valentino as Chiuri heads to Dior. The French fashion house confirmed her appointment as Dior's new artistic director on Friday. Chiuri will be the first female creative director to helm the luxury label, following in the footsteps of previous designers Raf Simons, John Galliano, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianfranco Ferre and Dior himself.

"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," the design duo said Thursday in a joint statement.

Added Chiuri: "I have shared with Pierpaolo a great part of my professional life and it has been an experience made of many successful creative achievements together. I am ready to embark on a new professional challenge."

Among their many achievements with the brand, Chiuri and Piccioli — whose romantic red-carpet designs are favored among the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning — most recently helped Valentino hit the $1 billion mark this year.

The announcement of Chiuri's exit comes just one day after the dynamic duo presented the label's Elizabethan-themed Haute Couture fall 2016 collection.

Though it's the end of an era, it will be exciting to see what Chiuri and Piccioli will each bring to their respective new roles.

8:00 a.m. Friday, July 8: Updated with Dior's confirmation that Maria Grazia Chiuri has been named the new artistic director.

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