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Pierpaolo Piccioli: The man who’s modernising Valentino

Words by Rob Chilton

Mould-breaking fashion designer Pierpaolo Piccioli continues his modernisation of Valentino, while paying respect to the brand’s history

Pierpaolo Piccioli is not like most fashion designers. Married with three kids and a rescue dog Miranda (named after Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wears Prada), the Valentino creative director is more likely to be found cheering on his beloved Roma football team with his son than sipping champagne with models in a hip bar.

The acclaimed designer who’s been responsible for modernising Valentino in recent years, chooses to live in Nettuno, the coastal town where he grew up and take the train into Rome to work with his team of 70.

Creating the VLTN logo was key for Piccioli

Piccioli studied literature at Rome University before completing a course in experimental fashion. An internship at Brunello Cucinelli led to a position in the accessories department at Fendi where he spent nine years, before joining Valentino in 1999 with his creative partner Maria Grazia Chiuri, eventually becoming sole creative director in 2016.

Prints galore at the Valentino SS19 show

Working with the great Valentino Garavani, founder of the Italian house, was a dream come true for Piccioli and he is respectful of the brand’s traditions when shaping its future. Changing the logo to the Vring and creating the abbreviated VLTN tag have been crucial moments for Piccioli.

Piccioli takes the applause for his FW19 menswear collection

“In order to look forward, [a man] must be aware of his past, but in a way, he has to forget his past,” he explains. “I want Valentino to be a couture house that is relevant for today for young people, to meld couture and street.”

Piccioli's mood board for FW19 menswear

After winning Designer of the Year at the Fashion Awards in 2018, Piccioli said he never wants to forget “the kid I was, the kid who loved and needed to dream.” His 90-minute train commute to Rome must give him plenty of time to do just that.

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