Valentino creative director on his very strict fashion rules
Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli is a strict follower of the fashion rules.
The designer was enlisted by Ben Stiller as he prepared to get back into character for his role as Derek Zoolander in the upcoming movie Zoolander 2. And Pierpaolo had some strong advice for Ben as he geared up to walk the runway at Paris Fashion Week.
“If you have socks, you are not fashion,” Pierpaolo told New York Magazine that he had informed Ben. “He said why? And I said shush. I said, ‘You don’t try to understand. You just do not wear socks.’
“And also, if you put your arms into the sleeves of your coat, you are not fashion. Don’t ask why. But do not carry your bag anywhere but here (points to his elbow crease). If you want to be fashion, these are the rules.”
After getting a full rundown by Pierpaolo, Ben and co-star Owen Wilson caused a media storm with their surprise runway appearance at Valentino's scheduled slot at Paris Fashion Week.
With their famous 'Blue Steel' pouts in full force, Ben and Owen wowed the audience and media as they strutted their stuff. And one person thoroughly impressed by the performance was Maria Grazia Chiuri, Pierpaolo's fellow Valentino creative director, who admits she struggled to control her giggles as she looked on.
“We didn’t tell anyone,” Maria said. “But, oh my God, we were laughing so hard. No one knew what was going on. It was such a moment of freedom. Look, you can work very seriously without being too serious.”
Under the direction of Pierpaolo and Maria, Valentino has enjoyed a 20 per cent growth over the past five years and expects to top revenues of $1 billion in 2015 for the first time in its history.
But their jobs are anything but easy, with the pressure increasing to produce collections more frequently each year.
"We used to have six months to design a collection. There was winter and summer,” Maria said. "Can you imagine if a writer had to write a best seller several times a year?”
Pierpaolo added: "Look, of course we would like to have more time. But I really love my job. I love it.”