Prior to her appointment as Dior’s first female artistic director, Chiuri spent 17 years at Valentino, including eight at the brand’s creative helm alongside long-term collaborator Pierpaolo Piccioli . The award-winning duo successfully redefined Valentino brand codes, growing the business to reach $1 billion in revenue in 2015.
Chiuri studied at Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome. In the early 1980s, she met Piccioli through a mutual friend in the city, and when she joined Fendi as a designer in 1989, she drafted in Piccioli to work alongside her in the accessories department.
In 1999, she joined Valentino as an accessory designer, quickly bringing on board her creative partner. After revamping the luxury brand’s handbag and eyewear collections, they were selected to design its Red Valentino diffusion line in 2003 and later given responsibility over the brand’s entire accessories range. Following Valentino Garavani ’s retirement, and the short lived tenure of the Alessandra Facchinetti , they were named co-creative directors in 2008.
At the time, though still a red carpet favourite, Valentino was struggling to reclaim the international cachet it once had. Chiuri and Piccioli pushed Valentino back to the forefront of fashion, breathing new creative energy into the brand, revitalising its menswear business and growing its accessories division with blockbuster styles like the Rockstud. In 2015, Chiuri and Piccioli received the CFDA International Award.
In July 2016, almost nine months after Raf Simons stepped down as artistic director of Dior, Chiuri was announced as his successor. The first female artistic director in the brand’s history showed her debut collection for Dior at Paris Fashion Week in September 2016. Pierpaolo Piccioli now serves as Valentino’s sole creative director.
Under Chiuri's direction, Dior brought back its saddle bag alongside an influencer marketing strategy that saw images of the accessory across Instagram, worn by the likes of Camila Coelho and Bella Hadid . She also created slogan T-shirts quoting feminists such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and late American art historian Linda Nochlin.
In July 2019, Chiuri was awarded the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honour.