After Raf Simon’s amicable separation from the house of Dior less than a year ago, following his S/S 2016 collection, there have been months of speculation that the house will be recruiting Maria Grazia Chiuri to be the new creative director, who is also one half of the duo from Valentino. According to a report that holds credit from two namely sources within the industry who are in the ring of the new appointment, Chiuri was officially announced following the couture show on Monday 4th July 2016.
Chiuri has been a part of the joint creative direction at Valentino with partner Pierpaolo Piccioli since 2007 and have been extremely successful, following the retirement of founder Valentino Garavani to turn the house into one of the most beloved, whimsical, and outstanding designers available to this century, despite the continuous backlash of cultural appropriation and racism exclusivity to their castings.
One of the most important things to keep an eye out for this change in the house and the industry is that Chiuri will be the first woman ever to take head of one of the most important roles at Dior in its 70-year history. She’ll have her work cut out to take Dior back into its days of glory, as Dior has been noted to be going through a difficult time with its sales, ever since the departure of Simons. Chiuri and Piccioli have raised Valentino’s sales dramatically since they took over, with the house reaching its $1 billion profit rates earlier in 2016 and no doubt at LMVH, the official home of Dior, this is something that the company sees as appealing to be able to increase the interest and profit for the house of Dior.
Perhaps with a woman’s touch and Chiuri’s romantic and artistic roots that she’s implanted at Valentino, this will be the change that Dior needs to get back on the radar with ethereal designs that could reflect what Dior once was, prior to Raf Simon’s modernist touch to the house. A decline in tourist numbers following the attacks in Europe have also attributed to the profit loss for not only Dior, but a handful of luxury houses, with a study claiming that the luxury market is only expected to grow by a 2 percent this year. Therefore Chiuri is expected to reserve that trend to revive the house.