Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli on Succeeding Valentino

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Photo courtesy of Interview Magazine

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli

As Alessandra Facchinetti, the designer who lasted just two seasons at the helm of Valentino, quickly learned, following in the illustrious footsteps of Valentino Garavani is no easy task. But Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the former accessories designers who now run the show at the fashion house, seem to finally be on solid footing. In Interview magazine’s May issue, Giancarlo Giammetti, the former president of the house and Valentino’s longtime partner, sat down with the designers to check in on how they’re handling his legacy.

“Could you have ever imagined that one day you would be running a company like Valentino?” Giammetti asked.

Chiuri says it was “unthinkable,” adding that she never even realized she was capable until she was offered the job. “It wasn’t even a dream, in the sense that we were already delighted with our situation,” said Piccioli.

The two have had their missteps—their Avatar-inspired Spring 2010 couture collection, most notably, which was universally panned and even prompted Giammetti to post on his Facebook page that “we have always supported the new designers and we love them, but this time we have to distance ourselves from this ridiculous circus.”

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Photo courtesy of Interview Magazine
Valentino's Fall 2011 collection.

Giammetti asks the duo why they “completely [forgot] the Valentino woman” in that collection.

“Well, as you said, you love your children even if they are wrong,” Piccioli said. “I think you also love your father, but sometimes you have to rebel before you grow up … I think it was a moment in which we had to change. First, you have to go very close, and then you can go very far.”

“I’ll be honest: We were wrong,” said Chiuri. “The accessories were wrong. The makeup was wrong. Sometimes we can be wrong.”

It’s clear, however, that Giammetti greatly admires the work of Piccioli and Chiuri—at least, their most recent work.

“What I found in the new collection was that I recognized each outfit not because it was a copy but because it revealed the world of Valentino,” he said.

What greater endorsement could you ask for?

To read more about the design duo, pick up the May issue of Interview magazine or go to Interview.com.

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