Designer Pierpaolo Piccioli Departs Valentino After 25 Years: A Look at His Memorable Red Carpet Moments

The Italian designer joined the fashion house and became sole creative director in 2016

<p>Gareth Cattermole/BFC/Getty Images for BFC</p> Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli

Gareth Cattermole/BFC/Getty Images for BFC

Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli

Pierpaolo Piccioli's 25-year legacy at Valentino is coming to an end.

On Friday, the designer and Valentino creative director, 56, announced he is exiting the fashion label after nearly three decades.

“Not all stories have a beginning and an end. Some live a kind of eternal present that shines with a bright light, so strong that it leaves no shadows,” Piccioli wrote in Italian on Instagram.

Then writing in English, he continued: “I have been in this company for 25 years, and for 25 years I have existed and lived together with the people who with me have woven the threads of these beautiful stories that are mine and ours. Everything has existed and exists because of the people I have known, with whom I have worked, with whom I have shared dreams and created beauty, with whom I have built something that belongs to everyone, and which remains immutable and tangible. This heritage of love, dreams, beauty and humanity, I carry with me, today and forever.”

<p>George Pimentel/WireImage</p> Lady Gaga in Valentino at the 2016 Golden Globes

George Pimentel/WireImage

Lady Gaga in Valentino at the 2016 Golden Globes

Piccioli went on to thank “every single person who has made this possible in one way or another, it has been a privilege and an honor to share my journey, and my dreams, with you.” He also expressed gratitude toward founder Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, the 91-year-old designer's longtime business partner and friend.

The company said in a statement shared by The Hollywood Reporter: “Since 2016, Piccioli, in the role of creative director, has significantly influenced the path of the Maison with his vision, dedication and innovative spirit, influencing a crucial chapter in the history of the company."

<p>Mike Coppola/Getty</p> Whoopi Goldberg, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Carey Mulligan attend the 2021 Met Gala

Mike Coppola/Getty

Whoopi Goldberg, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Carey Mulligan attend the 2021 Met Gala

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Piccioli’s journey at Valentino began in 1999, when he and fellow designer Maria Grazia Chiuri (who now helms Dior) joined the house as accessories designers. During their tenure, the duo reimagined the brand’s handbags and eyewear and later designed the Red Valentino line in 2003 before overseeing its entire accessories collection, per Business of Fashion.

The duo then moved up the ladder and became co-creative directors in 2008 before Piccioli took on the title as creative director in 2016.

For the past eight years, the Istituto Europeo di Design graduate has paved the way as the sole mastermind behind some of the looks seen on Hollywood’s best dressed stars, including Zendaya, Anne Hathaway, Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell and more.

Related: Anne Hathaway Channels Barbie in All-Pink Look During Valentino Fashion Show in Rome

<p>Cindy Ord/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue</p> Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli attend the 2023 Met Gala

Cindy Ord/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli attend the 2023 Met Gala

Florence Pugh, who became a Valentino ambassador in April 2023, has easily become one of Piccioli’s celebrity muses.

The Oppenheimer actress accompanied the designer to the 2023 Met Gala, dressed in one of his creations — a dramatic white gown coupled with a floor-sweeping ribbon sash and a towering feather headpiece. Meanwhile, Piccioli was also the driving force behind Pugh’s sheer nipple-baring pink gown that broke the Internet in July 2022.

Related: Florence Pugh Takes on the Barbie-Pink Trend in a Daringly Sheer Dress – See Photos

Speaking of pink, Piccioli fully embraced the hue in his fall 2022 collection, shifting Valentino from the bold red the brand was long associated with. This led to a resurgence of Barbiecore in the world of high fashion everywhere, from Fashion Week (where Hathaway so boldly wore her hot pink minidress in Rome in 2022), to awards season and beyond.

Piccioli will be missed by the fashion world. Celebrities, including Campbell, Gigi Hadid, Kate Hudson and Emily Ratajkowski, as well as designers poured out their support under his Instagram post announcing his departure. 

Valentino has not yet announced Piccioli's successor, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, his replacement will be announced soon.

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