Maria Grazia Chiuri was surprised Dior hired her

Maria Grazia Chiuri (Courtesy: WhoWhatWear)

Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri was surprised when she was hired as the brand Dior's creative director in 2016. She finds it a big responsibility to be the first woman to helm the brand in 70 years.

Chiuri, 53, says she was taken aback when the former president and chief executive of the company, Sidney Toledano, offered her the position because she found their first encounter with him difficult, reports

She told Interview magazine: "I was surprised. I met Toledano many years ago, and I was surprised I was offered the job because our first meeting wasn't very easy. I actually said, 'Oh, that's strange that you're calling me again'.

"He told me that he would like to speak with me again, and I decided to be very clear with him about my point of view on the Dior house and on fashion. So I said, 'I would like to join Dior, because it's a big opportunity, but we have to be able to think about the brand in a different way.'

"When I arrived and began to understand how huge the brand is, I said, 'Oh my God...' But I found it so exciting, and I put all my passion and creativity to work for the brand."

Fashion, she said, has evolved immensely over the years.

"When I started to be interested in fashion, when I started to study fashion, it was different-- we used fashion to express ourselves, to enjoy it. But now everything moves so much faster in fashion, and I don't want to impose anything on women.

"I want women to find themselves. I want to support women in trying to find pieces that they really like that they believe really work with their spirit," she said.