It's the end of an era at Valentino. After 17 years of working together at the brand — first as accessories designers and most recently as co-creative directors — Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are parting ways. The brand confirmed Thursday morning that Chiuri is leaving the company "to pursue a new professional experience," and that Piccioli has been named the "sole Creative Director of the Maison."
That new professional experience, which is all but confirmed, is to replace Raf Simons as the creative director at Dior.
Before being hired by Valentino Garavani at the Roman fashion house, Chiuri and Piccioli worked together as accessory designers at Fendi. "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.
Individually, Chiuri stated, "I thank Mr. Valentino Garavani and Mr. Giammetti for their support in these years and for everything that I have learned from them. I also thank Mr. Sassi and all the people that work within the Valentino Maison for their support in these years. 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."
The news comes one day after the brand's fall 2016 couture show, Chiuri's last for Valentino. In addition to bringing financial success to the house, two have created many magical fashion moments together; and though their relationship wasn't a romantic one, it's hard not to feel a little heartbroken that they've broken up.
We expect an official announcement to come from Dior before the end of the week.