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Just days after Dries Van Noten announced he is stepping down as creative director from his eponymous label, Pierpaolo Piccioli shocked the fashion industry on Friday as he announced his departure from Valentino after 25 years.

The 56-year-old has been at the helm of the Italian label since 2008 - jointly with Maria Grazia Chiuri from 2008 to 2016 until she took her role at Dior, and solo until his departure in 2024.

Pierpaolo is credited with revolutionising the label during his time as solo creative. Notably in 2019, his spring haute couture collection was a reimagining of Cecil Beaton’s famous 1948 portrait that showed a group of white women in lavish Charles James ballgowns. He flipped the depiction on its head and created clothes based on the image, but cast mostly black models for the show.

Pierpaolo Piccioli is seen on the runway during the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018  on March 5, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)© Getty
Pierpaolo Piccioli was creative director at Valentino for 25 years

Another iconic moment for the designer was undoubtedly his "Pink PP" fall 2022 collection that, combined with the Barbie movie, made magenta the most popular colour in the world in 2023. 

Anne Hathaway is seen on the runway during the Valentino show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2017/2018  on March 5, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)© Getty
Anne Hathaway's appearance at the Fall 2022 show went down in fashion history

Pierpaolo's creations were also royal-approved, notably by the Duchess of Sussex. From chocolatey brown suits to floral-embellished mini-shift dresses and sheer gowns, the stylish royal embraced his designs in all their glory.

Notable friends of the Maison as of late include Florence Pugh, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Serena Williams.

 Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli attend The Fashion Awards 2022 pre-ceremony drinks at the Royal Albert Hall on December 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Darren Gerrish/Getty Images for BFC)© Getty
Florence Pugh and Pierpaolo Piccioli at The Fashion Awards 2022 pre-ceremony

He took to Instagram to explain his decision saying: "Not all stories have a beginning and an end, some live a kind of eternal present that shines with an intense light, so strong that it leaves no shadows. I have been in this company for 25 years, and for 25 years I have existed and lived together with the people who have woven with me the plots of this beautiful story that is mine and ours."

"Everything existed and exists because of the people I met, worked with, shared dreams and created beauty with, built something that belongs to everyone, and remains unchanged and tangible. This heritage of love, dreams, beauty and humanity, I carry with me, today and forever," he continues, "All the emotions that I experienced and still feel stay with me and carry the name of the people who climbed with me on unknown and unknown paths that led us to beautiful and now known landscapes.- Stay with me you who know who you are because I am writing to you, to you I owe this heritage of love that is stainless and perpetual. After all, this is beauty, it’s life, hope, opportunity and gratitude, it’s my people, my heart, it’s love that gives you all the possibilities in the world, especially those you could not imagine alone."

With no news as to what his next venture is, you'll find us sitting here eagerly awaiting an update...