NEW YORK • In a move that will break up one of the most feted design teams in fashion, Maria Grazia Chiuri of Valentino is expected to be named artistic director of Christian Dior, becoming the first woman to lead the brand in its 70-year history.
The move, which is expected to be announced next month, could disrupt the luxury fashion landscape as Chiuri parts ways with her long-time collaborator, Pierpaolo Piccioli.
The news, reported by Reuters, broke just a day after the Valentino menswear show in Paris.
Both Dior and Valentino declined to comment, but a person briefed on the negotiations confirmed the appointment.
Chiuri and Piccioli were appointed co-creative directors at Valentino in 2008, staying at the Italian fashion house when it was sold by private equity group Permira to the Qatari- controlled Mayhoola for Investments in 2012.
They brought Valentino to billion- dollar status, making it a darling of both the fashion and celebrity worlds in the process.
The Dior appointment will be Chiuri's first solo design post and will leave Piccioli alone at the creative helm of Valentino.
Chiuri had hired Piccioli to work with her in Fendi's accessories department in 1992 and the two have moved in tandem since then. They have been professionally so intertwined that they often finish each other's sentences and dress alike.
Dior has been without a designer since October, when its artistic director, Raf Simons, left after three years. He had been appointed after the firing of John Galliano, who had been accused of a drunken anti- Semitic rant.
Simons was credited with modernising the Dior aesthetic. He was said to be upset to discover he had not been consulted on the signing of Rihanna as a Dior face, given the gulf between the aesthetic he had established for the brand and that of the pop star.
NEW YORK TIMES