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August 31 2014

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Designer Diary: Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Postcard From Cash & Rocket’s European Road Race

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The women participating in Cash & Rocket's road race

On June 13, Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri (who serves as the house’s co-creative director alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli) and her daughter, Rachele, headed to Barcelona to take part in Cash & Rocket‘s 2013 Car Tour—an auto race started by Cash & Rocket’s founder, Julie Brangstrup, that invites women from the worlds of art, fashion, film, music, and business to help raise funds for various charities. This year, the team of 70 women—including Margherita and Teresa Missoni, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Patricia Arquette, Selita Ebanks, Charlotte Stockdale, Betony Vernon, Jodie Kidd, and Jo and Leah Wood—were driving in support of Shine On Sierra Leone, which is helping to build a primary school for 300 children; Orphan Aid Africa, which aids in creating a survival center to support 100 dislocated families; and Sumbandila, a charity that provides high-quality secondary education to underprivileged children and families in southern Africa. The event, which was sponsored by Valentino, saw the ladies drive 35 sports cars from Barcelona to Rome. Here, Chiuri shares her experience from the open road exclusively with Style.com.

Julie Brangstrup

Here is Julie Brangstrup, the creator of Cash & Rocket. She’s an amazing woman and mother of six.

Maria Grazia Chiuri driving a Maserati GranCabrio with her daughter, Rachele

I am driving a beautiful Maserati GranCabrio. It’s my first time ever driving an automatic, but this car is absolutely fantastic. Rachele and I are team 12.

Maria Grazia Chiuri at dinner in Cannes

Finally arrived in Cannes after 650 kilometers. Thirty minutes to change and dress in all white for an all-women dinner on a beautiful island in front of Cannes.

Patricia Arquette

The wonderful Patricia Arquette—straight from L.A. I really enjoyed getting to know her better. She’s a sincere and warm person.

Jo Wood in Florence

Arrived in Florence. We are now three-quarters of the way into the trip. And check out the amazing Jo Wood. Still so rock ‘n’ roll!

Jodie Kidd

Our Cash & Rocket veteran, Jodie Kidd—the fastest driver on the road.

Maria Grazia Chiuri, Lisa Lovatt-Smith, Leigh Bristow, and Tiffant Parsons

Me with Lisa Lovatt-Smith, Leigh Bristow and Tiffany Parsons, three interesting and incredible women who have dedicated their lives to helping children in Africa. What an inspiration they are!

Maria Grazia Chiuri arriving in Rome

Finally arrive in Rome. One hundred degrees, but what a sense of accomplishment to arrive safe and sound, and to be in first place with fundraising on Crowdrise.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Terry Richardson

At Cash & Rocket’s last event—the auction dinner at Hotel de Russie in Rome. Here’s Pierpaolo and I with Terry Richardson, whom we love, and who is shooting our accessories campaign tomorrow.

Photos: Courtesy of Valentino

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