She knows good accessories.
Chiuri spent 10 years designing accessories for Valentino – those Rockstud pumps were her creation – and before that logged another decade at Fendi, where she and Piccioli were credited with inventing the Baguette bag, of Sex and the City fame. Dior has its own share of iconic accessories, including the saddle bag, the Lady Dior bag and the “comma” heel, created by Roger Vivier for the house in 1960s.
She’s all about artist collaborations.
In her tenure at Valentino, Chiuri has collaborated with Canadian pointillist painter Christi Belcourt, emerging Australian artist Esther Stewart, and text-based artist Giosetta Fioroni. At Dior, meanwhile, Raf Simons worked with American ceramic artist Sterling Ruby, Berlin contemporary artist Anselm Reyle, and British artist Marc Quinn.
She’s not afraid to shake things up.
Christian Dior introduced a “new look” in 1947, with tiny waists and voluminous skirts that permanently changed the female silhouette. At Valentino, Chiuri also redefined how women want to look, this time trading overt sexiness for soft, pretty – almost precious – gowns.
But she also honors heritage.
At Valentino, Chiuri “articulated its new identity by reinterpreting its heritage…much as Raf Simons is doing at Dior and Nicolas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton,” wrote W in 2014.
She loves a performance.
Earlier this year, Valentino tapped performance artist Vanessa Beecroft to stage the pre-fall “Untitled Rockstud” collection, and for its fall 2015 couture collection, everyone up and went to Rome to take in the show at the Palazzo Mignanelli. And at Dior, who could forget Raf Simons debut show, when he lined the walls of a Parisian mansion with one million flowers?
She can work the red carpet.
Valentino has become the go-to brand for cool girls on the red carpet, from Katy Perry to Alexa Chung. Dior, meanwhile, is known for dressing Jennifer Lawrence, Marion Cotillard and Emma Watson.