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Pierpaolo Piccioli: Valentino was hard at first

Pierpaolo Piccioli: Valentino was hard at first

Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli wants to forget how "horrible" the last few years were.

The designer and Maria Grazia Chiuri became creative directors of the Italian fashion house in 2008 and have been praised for their work there since.

They were recently announced as the recipients of the CFDA Fashion Awards’ International Award and Piccioli is pleased all the effort they put into the label has paid off.

"I want to forget the first few years! They were horrible. It was so difficult to understand what it was to be 'creative director,'" he recalled to

"At the beginning, we really had to clarify our vision. We wanted to give an idea of the beauty of our time, and to find the best language to talk about it. The first year was [about] looking to balance that with the heritage, which was kind of heavy."

However, as time went on he and his business partner became more confident in their ideas and voicing their opinions. Chiuri admits she was painfully shy at the beginning, especially as her English language skills weren't strong. Having now been bestowed such a prestigious title, which they will pick up at the ceremony on Monday June 1, she is in awe.

Valentino's couture ateliers have grown over the years and the brand has a lot more clients, which Piccioli is happy about.

"Couture is where you can get to your dreams," he smiled. "In the end, the point is you don’t feel the effort that goes into the clothes, you just have the lightness. You can’t understand by just looking, how the craftsman or technician has worked. That’s what we want to get."

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