Maria Grazia Chiuri was named Creative Director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections for Dior in July 2016, becoming the first woman to hold this position at the House. Across the seasons, and through her many collaborations, she reveals the talents, inventiveness and commitment of artists and artisans from around the world, whose savoir-faire, techniques and images nurture and enrich a priceless collective heritage. “I strive to be attentive to what is happening in the world and to create fashion that resembles the women of today. Fashion that accompanies them in their transformations, avoiding stereotypical categories of «masculine/feminine,” «young/less young,» and «reason/emotion,» which also have complementary aspects,” Maria Grazia Chiuri explained at her first runway show for the House of Dior. Beyond gender and differences, she champions the importance of plurality and self-affirmation in the name of free will.
In her view, fashion is not only a means to better understand oneself, but also a tool for expressing one’s identity and authentic, multi-faceted singularity. Her work is inspired by personalities who embody a true balance between grace and strength of character. Her muses include dancers, artists, photographers, activists and writers, as well as the courageous young women of today, first among them her daughter, Rachele.
Maria Grazia Chiuri was born in Rome in 1964. Inspired by her mother, a dressmaker, she knew early on that she wanted to work in fashion. She studied at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome, where she trained in the technical side of fashion design while exploring the cultural and artistic heritage of the Italian capital. Art history and cinema have always informed her work, notably during her time at Fendi, a House for which she designed handbags, starting in 1989. In 1999, she was appointed head of accessories at Valentino, and from 2008 to 2016 held the position of joint creative director alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Since arriving at Dior in 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri has encouraged a celebration of universal empowerment and sorority. Through the messages in her collections and runway presentations, which are conceived like so many manifestos, such as “We Should All Be Feminists”, “Sisterhood Is Powerful” and “Women’s Love Is Unpaid Labour”, she reasserts and celebrates the values central to feminist (r)evolutions and the younger generations, transcending dictates and stereotypes more than ever through audacious artistic dialogues that are constantly reinvented.
On the occasion of the Dior fall-winter 2019-2020 haute couture show, Maria Grazia Chiuri was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor) by France’s Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa. This prestigious recognition distinguishes the creative passion and commitment of the Creative Director, who through her involvement and vision of fashion and haute couture contributes to the influence of France and the House of Dior around the world.