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The BoF Podcast | Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri on the Value of Indian Craft

At Istituto Marangoni in Mumbai, the artistic director discussed the influence of Indian craft on her collections.
This week on The BoF Podcast, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artistic director of women’s at Christian Dior since 2016, sits down with BoF’s Imran Amed at the Istituto Marangoni in Mumbai.
This week on The BoF Podcast, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artistic director of women’s at Christian Dior since 2016, sits down with BoF’s Imran Amed at the Istituto Marangoni in Mumbai. (Photo courtesy of Istituto Marangoni)
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Background:

This week, Christian Dior presented its pre-fall 2023 collection at the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai, marking the first standalone show from a European luxury megabrand in the country.

It was a historic occasion for fashion in India, which is projected to soon become the world’s fastest-growing major economy, according to the International Monetary Fund. With that, Dior’s appearance in Mumbai could prove to be a seminal moment: When Fendi staged a show at the Great Wall of China in 2007, it helped catalyse more than a decade of growth in the Chinese luxury market.

This week on The BoF Podcast, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the artistic director of women’s at Christian Dior since 2016, sits down with BoF’s Imran Amed at the Istituto Marangoni in Mumbai to discuss the show, her intimate relationship with India and appreciation for Indian artisanship.

“India has a huge history, a 6000-year history in textile style and embroidery,” said Chiuri. “This is part of the culture.”

Key Insights:

  • For Chiuri, Dior’s Mumbai show was the culmination of a long-held ambition to present a collection in India due to her love for the country’s traditional artisans. “We are really happy because it’s a dream that we’ve had for a long time. It’s very personal for me … it is not a simple fashion show,” she said.
  • More than just showing the collection in the city, Chiuri wove local artisans’ creativity into the collection through an ongoing partnership with The Chanakya School of Craft, co-creating intricately embroidered clothing with references to India’s rich cultural heritage. “We’re creating a new kind of modern embroidery that was not done before,” she said.
  • When Chiuri met Karishma Swali, managing director of the Mumbai-based export atelier Chanakya International and the founder of the The Chanakya School of Craft, on her first trip to India, it sparked a friendship which has spanned over two decades, as well as numerous professional collaborations. “This is an important collaboration that I’ve had for a long time with Karishma, with this incredible family and company … I started to work with them in 1992,” Chiuri said. “We grew up together … our creativity and our discussions were so important in my career.”

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