BUON GIORNO DALLAS: Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli got a Texas-sized welcome during their first visit to Neiman Marcus flagship store in Dallas recently. “We walked into a room this morning with 17 women wearing Valentino, which was amazing,” Pierpaolo Piccioli enthused.


The fashion plates were among 550 women dressed to impress at Neiman’s annual in-store luncheon benefiting the Crystal Charity Ball, which was highlighted by a runway show of Valentino’s fall ready to wear.


The house returned to profitability this year, and sales have been especially strong at Neiman’s, its top U.S. retail account. How did the design duo revive Valentino? “It was very important to work not only on [couture] collections and prêt a porter but to have all the categories giving the same message of style and quality and the same vision,” Piccioli said. “We want give the theme of couture to every single piece that comes out.”


“We believe sportswear could be a new way now for Valentino because it’s feminine sportswear,” Chiuri added. “Normally sportswear is more masculine, more…”


“More boring,” Pioccioli interjected. “It’s about a lifestyle today and we don’t want to give Valentino the perception of being just eveningwear. We want to give the same values of the house in a T-shirt, in sportswear, in a suit.”

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