Pierpaolo Piccioli has overseen Valentino’s creative direction for eight years, during which time he and his long-time creative partner Maria Grazia Chiuri, modernised its couture to fit the contemporary consumer. In July 2016, when Chiuri took her talent to Dior, Piccioli became Valentino’s sole creative director.
He began his career after meeting Chiuri at Rome’s Instituto Europeo di Design. In 1989, he began working alongside her making accessories for Fendi. This started Piccioli’s two-decade long creative friendship with Chiuri.
In 1999 they moved to Valentino together to become accessory designers. They revamped the luxury brand’s handbag and eyewear collections, were put in charge of designing the brand’s diffusion line Red Valentino in 2003, and later oversaw its entire accessories range. Then, shortly after Valentino Garavani’s retirement in 2008, and following Alessandra Facchinetti’s year-long tenure as creative director, Chiuri and Piccioli were appointed co-creative directors.
At this time Valentino was struggling to reclaim the international cachet it once had. Together Chiuri and Piccioli pushed Valentino back to the forefront of fashion, breathing new creative energy into the brand, revitalising its menswear business and growing its accessories division with blockbuster styles like the Rockstud. In 2015, Chiuri and Piccioli received the CFDA International Award. In July 2016, when Chiuri was appointed artistic director of Dior, Piccioli became Valentino’s sole creative director.