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Dior Appoints Maria Grazia Chiuri As First Female Creative Director

Her first collection is slated to be previewed this fall in Paris.

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Parisian fashion house Christian Dior has appointed Maria Grazia Chiuri as creative director, the first female in the label's 69-year history to hold such a position.

After parting ways with Valentino last week, the 52-year-old creative is gearing up to showcase her first collection with Dior in September. She will serve as the label's seventh creative lead, a spot historically held by men.

Chiuri precedes Dior's previous creative director, Raf Simons, who resigned from the company after four years in October last year. His departure left many wondering what that would mean for the French brand.

Known for her ornate accessories and for popularizing the Baguette bag, Chiuri made historic splashes during her time at Fendi and Valentino alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli. Additionally, the creative duo spearheaded Valentino's "Rockstud" line, a look that has been replicated an innumerable amount of times. While Piccioli remains at Valentino, Chiuri's vision will be put to task at Dior.

Sidney Toledo, Dior's Chief Executive Officer, expressed to the Wall Street Journal that by having a woman in the position of creative director, he hopes it will help bring on clients from competitors dominated by men such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

“I measure the tremendous responsibility of being the first woman in charge of a house so deeply rooted in the pure expression of femininity,” Chiuri says in a statement to BizJournals. “I cannot wait to express my own vision.”