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Maria Grazia Chiuri Officially Exits Valentino

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Update, July 8, 2016: Maria Grazia Chiuri has formally been named the "artistic director" of Dior, as the brand confirmed on Twitter on Friday after earlier reports. The role makes Grazia Chiuri the first female creative director of Dior.

Previously: The breakup is underway.

On Thursday, Valentino confirmed that Maria Grazia Chiuri, one half of the house’s creative director team, would be leaving her post after eight years.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, her longtime design partner, has been nominated to continue as the sole creative director of Valentino.

A press release from Valentino simply states that Grazia Chiuri has left to "pursue a new professional experience." For those following at home, there’s a good chance that new experience is Christian Dior: According to unconfirmed reports two weeks ago, Dior has chosen Grazia Chiuri as its new creative director.

Reuters reported that Grazia Chiuri’s appointment to Dior could be expected after the couture shows, which end today.

If Grazia Chiuri indeed takes the helm at Dior, she will be the maison’s first-ever female creative director and one in a small club of women heading up major fashion houses. She had been the creative director at Valentino for eight years alongside Piccioli, a role she ascended after nine years focused on accessories for the Italian brand.

Piccioli was her partner the whole way through. The pair released a joint statement through Valentino today:

"After 25 years of creative partnership and of professional satisfactions we gave ourselves the opportunity of continuing our artistic paths in an individual way with the reciprocal desire of further great achievements."

Now Grazia Chiuri may be onto a different role with plenty of critical eyes trained on her. Dior is a storied house in need of a design leader, since Raf Simons vacated the top job in 2015 after three years. It’s the biggest luxury apparel company in the world, according to Forbes, with $41.6 billion in sales and $1.7 billion in profit — meaning Grazia Chiuri will have a very big job to do.

Watch this space for more updates.