Maria Chuiri Grazia has been confirmed as Dior’s new creative director, making her the first ever woman to helm the historic brand.
Chuiri was formerly at Valentino where she served as co creative director with her long-term design partner, Pierpaolo Piccoli. She replaces Raf Simons who left the house in October last year.
It makes sense for the brand which has such a strong feminine aesthetic to finally hire a woman to oversee its design vision. It’s an idea echoed by Dior’s chief executive, Sidney Toledano.
“When you listen to a woman talk about a woman, whether it is her body or her lifestyle – her work, the way she travels, what she needs – it is not conceptual,” Mr. Toledano said. “It is practical. Maria Grazia is very practical: very straightforward, very clear, and she has no fear. She has a family and a real life. She does things.”
Chuiri will be responsible for the two couture collections, two ready-to-wear collections, one cruise, one pre-collection, shoes, bags, costume jewelry and eyewear, as having creative input into ad campaigns and store design. Kris Van Asshe will continue to design menswear.
Apparently, Chuiri met Toledano 20 years ago when he was looking for someone to help John Galliano with bags. At the time, she had just joined Valentino as an accessory designer and told Toledano – a huge industry player – that she’d hold out until the big Dior design job came along. And biding her time sure paid off.
“She said to me: ‘I’m not going to come for just bags. I want the global job,'” Mr. Toledano said, though he would not say when the talks were revived. “Well, now she has it all.”