The renowned fashion designer known for saving the Gucci name has departed the label after seven years.
Michele, who joined the house back in 2002 as head of accessories, took over the role of creative director in 2015 and has re-established the house’s reputation within the fashion industry during his reign. It’s no secret Gucci has had its fair share of turbulence. Best depicted in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, where we see the birth, rise and plunge of the house. The brand’s influence in the fashion industry was at an all time low. Seen as undesirable and unworthy of its previous status, Michele managed to alter the world’s view of the eminent house.
Gucci, now owned by the French group Kering which also owns Saint Laurent and Balenciaga announced Michele’s resignation in a statement thanking the designer for his dedication during his tenure. François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO of Kering contributed, “I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself in this adventure. His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci centre stage, where its place is. I wish him a great next chapter in his creative journey.”
Throughout Michele’s term at the house, he prioritised gender-neutral collections, showcasing both men’s and women’s designs at shows. Something unheard of in the industry. He also built and maintained relationships with mainstream celebrities, most notably Harry Styles, Jared Leto, Billie Eilish and Dakota Johnson who have rarely been seen in anything but Gucci during the past few years. With Michele’s step down, perhaps it’s time we see them in something else.
The announcement from Kering, while shocking, wasn’t all that unpredictable. The company has been shifting directors of their brands for some time now. Back in September Burberry revealed that Mr. Lee would take over as its new creative director succeeding Riccardo Tisci, who in turn was replaced at Bottega Veneta by Matthieu Blazy. Now all heads turn to Gucci, who will follow Michele?
His latest collection was displayed to the masses at his ‘Twinsburg’ show, where he featured 68 pairs of identical twins. His shows were nothing if not visionary. The house’s next show is due to be revealed in Milan in January.
Michele’s aspirations turned into reality and were nothing but success for the luxury fashion house. Gucci was out profiting its competitors, with revenues almost tripling during his time leading the brand, making tens of millions for Kering all thanks to Michele as well as Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri. However, a brand can only go so far; in past months, profits haven’t been as admirable. Its collaborations with the likes of Adidas and Harry Styles which resembles more of a merchandise line were nothing to write home about.
The next creative director for Gucci has yet to be announced.
Words: Patrick Grady|Subbing: Tania Alasady