Pierpaolo Piccioli is leaving Valentino

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

The creative director of the Italian house is stepping down after 25 years.

Valentino and creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli are parting ways, the Italian house said on Friday. A “new creative organisation” is to be announced soon.

Piccioli joined the house in 1999 as an accessory designer alongside Maria Grazia Chiuri. The pair were appointed co-creative directors in 2008, replacing Alessandra Facchinetti, who had taken up the role a year earlier after founder Valentino Garavani retired. In 2016, Piccioli took on the role of sole creative director, following Chiuri’s departure for Dior.

Pierpaolo’s first solo collection for Valentino, after Maria Grazia Chiuri’s departure. Valentino SS17. Photo: Alessandro Garofalo /

“Not all stories have a beginning or an end, some live a kind of eternal present that shines so bright that it won’t produce any shadows,” said Piccioli in a statement. “I’ve been in this company for 25 years, and for 25 years I’ve existed and I’ve lived with the people who have woven the weaves of this beautiful story that is mine and ours… Thanks to Mr Valentino and [Valentino co-founder] Giancarlo Giammetti who have blessed me with their trust, thanks to every single person who made this possible in one way or another. It was a privilege and an honour to share my journey, and my dreams, with you.”

Piccioli grew up in the Italian resort city of Nettuno, studied literature at Rome University, interned at Brunello Cucinelli and after graduation, joined the team at Fendi with Chiuri. Speaking with Luke Leitch in a 2011 interview about the way he and Chiuri approached the task of directing design at Valentino, Piccioli said: “We keep the language but change the attitude.” That translated initially into collections that toughened Valentino staples, including ruffles and bows (not to mention red), and injected new motifs like the Rockstud. His first collection in October 2016 after Chiuri left “revealed the unbridled romanticism and fantasy of Piccioli’s singular vision”, Hamish Bowles wrote.

Piccioli at his most recent RTW collection (AW24), which was entirely in black. Photos: Courtesy of Valentino

The Autumn/Winter 2024 show was a “black on black manifesto for progress explored in 63 ways”, wrote Vogue Runway’s Sarah Mower. “In his spring 2023 summer collection — which began in pristine white — Pierpaolo Piccioli expressed his creative outrage against prime minister Giorgia Meloni’s retrograde remark on women needing to dress conservatively in order to avoid rape. His collection in black followed through, expanding on multiple options for women to show their bodies however they will, from hip-slashed skirts to a full engagement, if desired, in full-frontal red carpet exposure in transparent Valentino lace,” Mower wrote.

In 2012, Valentino was acquired by Qatari investment fund Mayhoola for €700 million, per Reuters. In July 2023, Kering announced the acquisition of a 30 per cent share in Valentino for a cash consideration of €1.7 billion. The deal includes the option for Kering to acquire the rest of the brand by 2028. Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault describes Valentino as “a unique Italian house that is synonymous with beauty and elegance”. Valentino’s revenues in 2022 amounted to €1.4 billion.

“I am grateful to Pierpaolo for his role as creative director and for his vision, commitment and creativity that have brought the maison Valentino to what it stands for today,” said Valentino CEO Jacopo Venturini.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to Pierpaolo for writing an important chapter in the history of Valentino. His contribution over the past 25 years will leave an indelible mark,” added Valentino chairman Rachid Mohamed Rachid.

Luke Leitch contributed reporting.

Valentino Haute Couture SS18 and SS19. Photos: Photo: Marcus Tondo / and Filippo Fior /
Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first Haute Couture collection for Valentino, in January 2009. Photos: Francois Guillot/Getty Images, Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage
Valentino Haute Couture AW22 in Rome. Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
Valentino Haute Couture AW18. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Valentino AW22. Photo: Acielle/Styledumonde
Anne Hathaway and Naomi Campbell in Valentino. Photo: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images, Samir Hussein/WireImage

This article was originally published on Vogue Business.

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