Seventy-year-old French fashion house Dior reportedly will soon appoint a female creative director for the first time ever.
According to Reuters, at least two sources have disclosed that Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri will be trading Milan for Paris to head up the iconic maison. She will be replacing designer Raf Simons, who left suddenly in October 2015. The announcement is expected to be made in early July, after Christian Dior’s fall/winter couture show on the 4th.
Dior is undoubtedly hoping Chiuri will help turn around its recently ailing sales. During her nine years at Valentino — along with her design partner Pierpaolo Piccioli — Chiuri turned Valentino into a $1 billion-plus brand. And while Dior may be a $5 billion brand, the profits are mostly attributed to fragrances and makeup — and fashion sales have actually flatlined.
The move to Dior will also be a big switch for Chiuri artistically. At Valentino, she and Piccioli have developed a signature style featuring fantasy-like gowns with lush embellishments. The collections tend to be both thematic and dramatic. Conversely, Dior has gone a more minimalist route since ditching controversial former creative director John Galliano in 2011. It’ll be interesting to see how Chiuri updates Dior’s wares with her own vision, potentially as soon as Paris Fashion Week in October.
There is currently no word on whether Piccioli plans to stay with Valentino when Chiuri exits. Valentino said in a statement that the company has “no comment at this time as nothing has been confirmed.”