Maria Grazia Chiuri believes Dior is about ''female empowerment''.

The 53-year-old designer was appointed the creative director of Dior last year, and since taking on the role the star has made a point to speak out about femininity and encourage women to feel confident, although she doesn't think she is an ''activist''.

Speaking to Vogue Online, the creative mastermind said: ''Because there was never a woman in that position [before].

''I don't think that I'm an activist. Dior is about femininity. When I arrived here, everybody told me that. Okay, I said, we have to speak about femininity, but what does that mean today? I try to speak about women now, and for the future. Dior has to be about female empowerment.

''I know that there are a lot of nostalgic people that want a world that references the past and [Dior in] the 1950s, and I think the references of the past are beautiful, and I really appreciate our heritage. But if I'm a modern woman who wants a vintage dress I go to Didier Ludot and I buy an authentic Dior dress. If I go to the [Dior] store, I want something that speaks about the heritage, but in a modern way, for contemporary life. I know there are other points of view, and I respect those, but that's my point of view.''

And the businesswoman - who previously worked for Valentino for over 15 years alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli - believes creativity in the fashion industry extends further than the catwalk.

She said: ''As a designer, creativity is the first part of our job, but I don't think that creativity only has use on the runway. It's very important that the message you have in the show you also have in the [store] window, also in the merchandise inside the store. I have a huge team around me that supports me, but if you only do the show you lose the message.''

And Maria believes the business has drastically changed over the years, and she has high hopes for her future with the company.

She said: ''Now fashion is another story, it's not like in the past. Fashion [used to be] a big show to sell other products - if we speak about the Eighties, Nineties, there were the licences, you'd have a big show but after you sell other products. I want to sell it all - clothes, bags, shoes. We have to be honest. If we don't speak about fashion as a system, in a real way, it's a trick. We have to be honest with our consumer. We want to give very good quality, good creativity, but which you can also find in the store.''