For turning a storied fashion house into a $1 billion juggernaut
Maria Grazia Chiuri is the creative director for fashion house Dior. She was previously the co-creative director of Rome's billion-dollar brand Valentino—a position she shared with Pierpaolo Piccioli.
After taking Valentino’s reins in 2008, Chiuri and Piccioli have reinvigorated the brand, which has quadrupled profits under their watch (with IPO rumors flying). Their strategy relied on careful balance—spiky metal studs and soft-edged elegance; love for the past and a vision for the future. Alumni of Rome's celebrated IED (Istituto Europeo di Design), Chiuri and Piccioli had worked together since the late 1980s, when she recruited him to join her on the accessory-design team at Fendi. They were poached by Valentino in 1999, where, over the next several years, they oversaw a revamp of—and subsequent huge growth in—the brand's accessories collections, notably handbags, shoes, and eyewear.
In July 2016, Chiuri confirmed she would be leaving Valentino to join Dior as its creative head.