2017: the audience’s standing ovation closes Pierpaolo Piccioli’s debut fashion show giving us a sneak-peek of what was to come. But from here to receiving the title of Designer of the Year the step is not so short: the Italian designer, creative director of Valentino since 2016, was honored by conquering the red carpet of the latest edition of the British Fashion Awards hosted by London’s Royal Albert Hall last December 5.
Dark glasses, white sneaker, and full family accompanied him in this pleasant déjà-vu: surrounded by his creations, this is not the first time Piccioli has received the most coveted award of the evening, also his following the 2018 ‘edition. Along with his colleagues Raf Simons (Prada), Ibrahim Kamara (Off-White), Daniel Roseberry (Schiaparelli) and Harris Reed (Nina Ricci), he was also named Leader of Change-Creativity. But after all, say the shrewd, it was to be expected!
Since the Lazio designer walked through the doors of the historic Maison, Valentino has been colored by a new shade of red with revolutionary hues, which was then translated into what soon became the iconic Pink PP, created in collaboration with Pantone and presented to the public last March, during Fall/Winter 22-23.
Inclusion, equality, and freedom converge in a new idea of beauty that broadens the spectrum, a beauty capable of “Finding glamour in what is imperfect and far from the canon”, in the words of the Maison itself. A clear vision emerges, one that puts a ring on the finger to a strong sense of social responsibility, putting the power of beauty in the foreground.
The incipit is a dispassionate love for cinema, soon betrayed for a related, almost complementary language. Landing at the European Institute of Design, Piccioli discovers the expressive power of fashion, and before long he falls in love with it. At Fendi he takes his first steps toward the heart of the profession: he is in charge of accessories and meets Maria Grazia Chiuri, who will work alongside him for a good 26 years of his career. Together they arrive at Valentino working side by side until 2016, when they part ways. From that moment Piccioli will be the sole creative director of the historic Maison, until today, when with his “Thank you to everyone that made this happen” he will conclude another chapter of his success, a manifesto of Italian savoir faire, once again a winner.
by Marta Ganadu
09th December, 2022