“I always think my work is to take a new picture of something that you know already. I do it with new life and new shapes, so you view the landscape from my way of seeing.”

These words are incredibly prudent coming from the Creative Director of Maison Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli. In his 14th year reigning as the maison’s creative leader, Piccioli is striving to reshape Valentino for a new – and younger – audience, amplifying the brand’s cultural ethos to resonate with the current zeitgeist.

The Pre-fall 2022 campaign by Maison Valentino is an exciting representation of this new direction.

Titled “Portrait of a Generation”, Piccioli’s Valentino Promenade Fall 2022 womenswear collection and Valentino After Club Fall 2022 menswear collection, take signature cues from Valentino’s heritage and repurpose them in a new light.

For pre-fall, you can expect to see lots of stripes and zebra prints, capes and blouses, prints and embroideries, all of which have become accustomed to the Maison. These pieces are quintessentially Valentino but Piccioli has “shuffled the attitude”.

“When Mr Valentino started designing, there were so many rules for how you wore clothes,” says Piccioli.  “Now, fashion is about self-realisation. This collection is shifting Valentino to this new world, giving new meaning to the codes and values.”

To capture the collection, portraits were taken on the street at Arnold Circus, East London – an area that reminds Piccioli of his hometown in Rome, Italy. While not a geographical aesthetic perhaps previously aligned with the brand, Piccioli believes that the sartorial codes of the Maison can be given a different meaning by shifting the way they’re interpreted by the wearer.

There’s still a sense of Italian savoir-faire that encapsulates what Valentino has stood for in high fashion since 1959, but it speaks to the younger fashion market that the Maison is focusing on.

Furniture was used throughout the campaign to give the sense of stooping, an urban tradition where items are left on the street for others to take. Casting was about attitude, and not about treating models “as models, but as humans.” “We wanted to dress them the way they dress in their own life. It is about individuality and uniqueness, which connects to my work in Couture. It is about diversity and inclusivity. It is about community,” says Piccioli.

Philanthropy also plays a big part of Valentino’s future landscape. Maison Valentino is progressively working to approach a transformative change to advance toward social, cultural and environmental initiatives by building authentic value across brand actions. The Maison is on a mission to uphold the values of respect, giving back, social and environmental responsibility, and initiatives such as bespoke programs tailored for specific communities is setting the foundations for this promise to future generations.

These are the many layers that make up Piccioli’s work at Valentino: the heritage, the new generation, his own point of view. 

“I want to breathe life into Valentino,” he reiterated. “I want its idea of perfect beauty to be somehow stained, so to speak, by the reality of today’s life, and to make it alive and relevant for a community of people with no reverence towards fashion, but who inhabit fashion with sentiment and an attitude of personal creativity.”