The niche world of luxury fashion is a strange one to navigate indeed. Valentino’s Creative Director, Pierpaolo Piccioli showcased his Autumn/Winter 2022-23 collection titled, ‘The Beginning’, sashayed across the iconic Spanish Steps on July 8. The 18th century staircase is located in Piazza di Spagna, Rome and there is a Dior Boutique nearby, on Via Condotti. A star-studded affair, the Valentino show drew attention and praise, with eminent people from the fashion industry as well as celebs like Anne Hathaway, Naomi Campbell, and Florence Pugh in attendance.
(L-R) Florence Pugh, Ashley Park, and Anne Hathaway donning the vibrant hue, Pink PP, created by Pierpaolo Piccioli in collaboration with Pantone.
As confirmed by the fashion-industry trade journal Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), a letter was sent to Valentino on the night of the show itself by the retail manager of Christian Dior Italia, alleging that their customers could not access their Via Condotti boutique as they were “refused access and blocked at the barriers”. Dior stated that their operations were hampered and their boutique suffered a loss as it was empty on a normally bustling Friday afternoon. Hence, they wanted to be compensated with €100,000 for the same, with a deadline of 15 days.
(L-R) Kate Hudson and Naomi Campbell at Valentino's Autumn/Winter 2022-23 Show in Rome.
Dior elaborated that Valentino had assured the local retailers through a letter on June 27 that their show will not cause any disruptions in the regular foot traffic to the stores but had failed to do so. It is interesting to note that none of the other neighbouring fashion retailers on Via Condotti like Gucci, Prada, and Moncler submitted a complaint. Some speculated if this sudden contention was due to the fact that Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s Creative Director in 2016, had previously worked alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino as a Co-Artistic Director.
Model walking down the iconic Spanish Steps in Valentino Couture.
But Dior has now written to Valentino again, as confirmed by WWD, saying that the French label was backing down "in light of the friendly relationship between the two Maisons". Many are attributing this withdrawal to the hit that Dior’s public image has taken, with all the abrasive remarks and scorn it received on social media. Several viewed Dior as ‘petty’, in spite of being part of LVMH, the largest luxury group in the world. Both the luxury brands have a history of maintaining cordial and pleasant relations in the past. And it seems all’s well in paradise again.