CONFIRMED: Dior Appoints Chiuri as Its First Female Creative Director

Christian Dior named Maria Grazia Chiuri as its new artistic director, the first woman to hold the position in the French fashion house’s 70-year history. Chiuri, who joins from Valentino, replaces Raf Simons, who left Dior in October. She will be responsible for women’s couture, ready-to-wear and accessories, the Paris-based company said in a statement Friday. Her first collection will be presented in Paris on Sept. 30.

The appointment ends months of speculation after Simons’s surprise departure. It’s the latest personnel change in a series sweeping the luxury industry with companies from Brioni to Yves Saint Laurent replacing creative directors as spending cools. Having helped more than quadruple Valentino revenue since 2009, Chiuri’s task will be to revitalize Dior, whose fashion sales ground to a halt in the first three months of this year.

“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 said. “I cannot wait to express my own vision.”

Chiuri’s former co-creative director at Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli, will assume sole artistic leadership of the Rome-based company, it said Thursday.