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PARIS – Accessories trump clothes again.
Valentino said its longtime accessories duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli would become creative directors for all categories, succeeding ready-to-wear and couture designer Alessandra Facchinetti, confirming a report on WWD.com Friday.
The change comes one day after Facchinetti staged her second rtw show for the Roman house amidst widespread speculation her days were numbered, creating an uneasy atmosphere at the event, held in a tent in the Tuileries.
Stefano Sassi, chairman and chief executive officer of Valentino, stated that Chiuri and Piccioli “have the right qualities, in both creativity and management, to make the Valentino brand stronger at the highest level in luxury fashion.”
History repeated itself for Facchinetti, a slim brunette with haunting eyes who succeeded Tom Ford as the women’s rtw designer at Gucci in 2004, only to be succeeded after two seasons by accessories wizard Frida Giannini.
Before being tapped at Valentino, Facchinetti designed an attention-getting line for Moncler called Gamme Rouge.
In confirming her exit, Valentino cited “a misaligned vision with the company.”
Chiuri and Piccioli worked beside founder Valentino Garavani for 10 years and established the brand’s successful accessories division.
The ousting of Facchinetti underscores both the difficulty in replacing veteran designers and the impatience of private equity funds – new players in an industry whose fortunes hinge on intangibles like creativity and brand aura.
Last year, Permira shelled out about $3.55 billion to buy Valentino Fashion Group, which aside from Valentino owns a majority stake in Hugo Boss and men’s wear brand Lebole.
For complete coverage, see Monday’s WWD.