Has Dior finally found its creative director? On Thursday, Reuters reported that the French fashion house has tapped Valentino's Maria Grazia Chiuri, 52, to fill the role that has been left vacant since Raf Simons departed last October. According to two sources "close to the matter," Dior is expected to announce Chiuri's hire after its couture show in July. Chiuri would be Dior's first-ever female creative head.
While a spokesperson for Dior did not immediately respond to our request for comment, a rep for Valentino said: "We have no comment at this time as nothing has been confirmed."
Valentino Garavani handpicked Chiuri and her design partner, Pierpaolo Piccioli, to succeed him following his retirement in 2007. In the nine years since, the pair has become known for its romantic, intricate designs that have garnered much acclaim from fashion editors.
Update: Dior confirmed Chiuri's appointment on Friday, writing on Twitter: "Dior is delighted to welcome Ms. Maria Chiuri as artistic director of women's couture, RTW and accessory collections." The announcement follows a similar one on Thursday from Valentino naming Piccioli as the "sole Creative Director of the Maison" and bidding goodbye to Chiuri.
"I had it in mind that a woman designer might be interesting for a while now," Dior CEO Sidney Toledano told The New York Times. Chiuri will be the house's first-ever female creative director. Toledando also noted that when he first met Chiuri about 20 years ago, she asked for the top job. "She has a big ambition for the job, but it is not a power play," he said.
Since Christian Dior died in 1957, the following designers have served as the house's creative leads: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferrè, John Galliano, Bill Gaytten and Raf Simons.