Maria Grazia Chiuri was ''surprised'' when she was hired as Dior's creative director.

The 53-year-old fashion designer took on the role to helm the fashion house in 2016, but the mogul has admitted 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 and thought it was ''strange'' he called her later down the line.

Speaking to Interview magazine about her title, she said: ''I was surprised. I met Mr. 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.''

And Maria feels it is a ''big responsibility'' being the first female to lead the creative team in almost 70 years.

She said: ''It feels like a big responsibility. 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.''

Maria has relocated to France since being named the creative director, but she was not fazed about moving because she considers herself ''a little bit of a crazy woman'' and wanted to test herself.

Asked whether she was apprehensive about changing her address, she said: ''I was not scared because I'm a little bit of a crazy woman. I'm 53 - I want to test myself. I might be wrong, but that's okay. I think it's important to take risks.''