Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli Parting Ways

MILAN — Valentino and Pierpaolo Piccioli are parting ways, according to market sources.

Responding to WWD, Valentino issued the following:

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“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 chief executive officer Jacopo Venturini.

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

Piccioli said: “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. 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.

“Everything existed and exists thanks to the people I met, with whom I worked, with whom I shared dreams and created beauty, with whom I built something that belongs to all, and that remains immutable and tangible. This heritage of love, dreams, beauty and humanity, I carry it with me, today and forever.

“This is the beauty that we have created: life, hope, opportunity and gratitude, and my people, my heart and the love that gives you all the possibilities of the world, especially those that you could not imagine alone. Thanks to Mr. Valentino and 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 honor to share my journey, and my dreams, with you.”

A new creative organization for the house will be revealed soon.

Piccioli was named sole creative director of Valentino in July 2016, following the departure of Maria Grazia Chiuri to join Dior.

Chiuri and Piccioli first worked together at Fendi for 10 years. Valentino Garavani in 1999 selected the designers to boost his brand’s accessories category, which they did, rejuvenating that division. They were promoted to creative directors of accessories at Valentino when Alessandra Facchinetti was assigned the same title for ready-to-wear after Garavani retired in 2007. In 2008, they succeeded Facchinetti as creative directors of the brand.

While highly respectful of Garavani and the heritage of Valentino — in particular emphasizing the brand’s couture — Piccioli embraced a more diverse and inclusive approach, distancing himself from the rarefied and jet-set days of yore. In his understated manner, Piccioli continued to live in Nettuno, Italy, a beach town 44 miles south of Rome where he was born, where he met his wife, Simona, and where they are raising their three children. He has said for years that he also considers Valentino his home and has again and again taken the opportunity to pay tribute to the talent of the seamstresses who have long worked for the company — highlighting the exquisite craftsmanship of Valentino’s atelier.

At the same time, he has brought a younger spirit to the maison with a new perspective, for example choosing as Di.Vas brand ambassadors, an acronym that stands for Different Values, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton or Suga, the much-loved member of the boy band BTS. Piccioli telegraphed his message of inclusivity by going contrary to Roman stereotypes, casting Adut Akech and Anwar Hadid for the Valentino Born in Roma fragrance.

With his influential designs, he introduced daring volumes and colors — including the PP Pink new Pantone shade — developing more daywear looks and dabbling with streetwear. His attention to detail was exemplified, for example, by his careful study of the white shirt for Valentino’s spring 2019 ready-to-wear collection.

While still fresh, speculation is that Valentino’s owner, Mayhoola, could be eyeing Alessandro Michele or even Chiuri as a potential successor.

In July last year, Kering revealed it bought a 30 percent stake in Valentino for 1.7 billion euros in cash as part of a broader strategic partnership with Qatari investment fund Mayhoola, which controls the couture brand. For this reason, Michele returning to work for Kering after his abrupt departure from Gucci may seem a stretch.

Kering has an option to buy 100 percent of Valentino’s capital by 2028, while Mayhoola could become a shareholder in Kering. The new luxury partners are expected to jointly explore further opportunities aligned with their respective strategies, including potential investments beyond fashion.

As per the latest figures available, a rebalancing of its retail and wholesale channels contributed to Valentino’s gains in revenues and profits in 2022. Sales reached 1.42 billion euros, climbing 15 percent compared with 1.23 billion euros in 2021. At constant exchange, revenues rose 10 percent.

Changes are taking place throughout Mayhoola, as earlier this week Balmain, also controlled by the Qatar-based fund, said CEO Jean-Jacques Guével was stepping down from the role after four years “to pursue other interests.” Guével’s next move could not immediately be learned, and his successor has yet to be named.

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week

Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection at Paris Fashion Week

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Launch Gallery: Valentino Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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