Alessandro Michele is stepping down as Gucci’s creative director
Alessandro Michele has stepped down as Gucci’s creative director after nearly eight years, a period that saw him help revive and transform the fortunes of the Italian label.
In announcing the decision on Wednesday, the luxury house’s parent company Kering said the 49-year-old designer had “played a key role in bringing the brand to where it is today.”
Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the conglomerate, said in a statement: “The path that Gucci and Alessandro have taken together in recent years is unique and will remain a landmark moment in the house’s history… His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci on center stage, its place.
Joining Gucci as a handbag designer with no experience running a major label, Michele was unexpectedly appointed to the top job in 2015. But as the brand’s relevance waned, it shunned the open and called for an overhaul of its identity. Tom Ford, the pioneer of sexual aesthetics, favors a strange aesthetic called “geek raw”.
Models walk the runway at Michele’s last major show for Gucci during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Daniele Venturelli / Getty Images for Gucci
Its gender-fluid collections also increasingly blurred the label’s distinction between menswear and womenswear, while savvy partnerships with the likes of Adidas and The North Face helped the label appeal to the mass market.
Alessandro Michele and Harry Styles are coming to the 2019 Met Gala. Credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Revenue increased under Michelle’s management. Kering owns several other big brands, including Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent, but Gucci now produces more than all of them combined, generating 9.7 billion euros ($10.1 billion) in profits for the company last year.
Alessandro Michele with Jared Leto at the Met Gala in May 2022. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Michele, who joined Gucci in 2002, said in a statement on Wednesday: “As each of us may have different perspectives, there are times when our paths diverge. Today marks the end of an extraordinary journey that has spanned more than two decades for me. A company to which I have devoted all my love and creative passion tirelessly.
“Gucci has been my home, my adopted family for so long,” he said, adding: “With them I dreamed, I dreamed, I fantasized.”
A replacement for Michel has yet to be announced, and Kering suggests more changes may be ahead. The conglomerate’s press release said Gucci’s design office will manage the brand’s product line until a “new creative organization” is announced.
Top Image: Alessandro Michele appears at the end of Gucci’s Fall/Winter show during Milan Fashion Week 2016 (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini).
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