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What will happen to Valentino after Pierpaolo Piccioli’s departure?

Alessandro Michele, among the favourites to succeed Pierpaolo Piccioli as Valentino’s creative director.

What will happen to Valentino after Pierpaolo Piccioli’s departure?

Appointed sole creative director in July 2016, having shared the position with Maria Grazia Chiuri for the previous eight years (who left for Dior), last week designer Pierpaolo Piccioli announced that, after two and a half decades as creative director, he was stepping down from his position at Valentino.

“Not all stories have a beginning or an end. Some live in a kind of eternal present that shines so brightly that it casts no shadow. I have been with this company for 25 years, 25 years in which I have existed and lived with the people who have woven the threads of this beautiful story that is mine and ours,” the Italian said.

“Thanks to Mr Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, who have placed their trust in me. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible in one way or another. It has been a privilege and an honour to share my journey, and my dreams, with you,” continued Pierpaolo Piccioli.

Pierpaolo Piccioli has brought a fresh vision to the house, while sublimating Valentino’s heritage and know-how. The designer introduced increasingly daring volumes and vitaminised shades to the house, such as the famous PP Pink, which has become one of Valentino’s unmistakable hallmarks.

What happens now?

The news that Piccioli is leaving the Rome-based fashion house comes just nine months after Kering acquired a 30% stake in Valentino. All this with the public intention of subsequently taking full control.

WWD points to Alessandro Michele – who served as Gucci’s creative director until November 2022 – as one of the favourites to take over, and even indicates that he may already be negotiating a possible contract with Valentino. For the moment, none of the parties involved have made any statements on the matter.

Alessandro Michele left Gucci in November 2022. According to sources, Michele’s departure was because “he was asked to initiate a strong design change” at the brand and also because François-Henri Pinault – president and CEO of Kering, the group to which Gucci belongs – wanted a “change of pace” for the brand.

Nicola Brognano also left the creative direction of Blumarine.

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