THE rumors in the environment have been following one another for a few days, so much so that they came out in black and white on wwd. After Raf Simons’ abandonment of his eponymous brand and the subsequent debates on the future of Miuccia Prada, another creative director is leaving. Alessandro Michele will no longer be the Gucci designer: farewell, announced with a official press release from the Maison of the Kering group on the evening of 23 November 2022.

    The creative team of Gucci, the fashion house has announced, will continue the direction until the announcement of a new organization.

    An aesthetic and thought revolution

    A news that, despite the increasingly insistent chatter, strikes like a bolt from the blue on the fashion world: and it is easy to understand why. Starting from the timing: the designer covers the role of creative director since January 21, 2015. And in almost 8 years at the helm and over twenty years of work in the ranks of the ne brand it completely reframed the aestheticgrafting his own vision of style, fashion and life into the Gucci codes from the outset.

    Alessandro Michele at the end of the Gucci Fall-Winter 2016/2017 fashion show (Photo: Pietro D’aprano/Getty Images).

    Before Gucci

    With respect and dedication, step by step, going from being a simple assistant to the previous creative director Frida Giannini to become one of the best-known designers in the fashion system. Unmistakable long hair, 49 years old, Romangraduated from the Academy of Costume and Fashion, in 1994 Alessandro Michele starts from Les Copains in Bologna. At the end of the nineties he enters Fendi in the role of senior accessories designer, moving on to Gucci in 2002, personally chosen by the now creative director Tom Ford. From there, an uphill career, until he became Giannini’s right arm in 2011, with the role of associate director.

    Gucci Beloved campaign

    Gucci Beloved campaign

    The poetic commentary by Alessandro Michele

    “There are times when paths separate due to the different perspectives that each of us may have. Today ends for me an extraordinary journey inside a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and my creative passion» she declares. «During this long period, Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individual people who have cared for and supported it, goes my heartfelt thanks, my biggest and most moved embrace. Together with them I have desired, dreamed, imagined. Without them none of what I have built would have been possible. To them therefore my most sincere wish: may you continue to feed on your dreams, subtle and impalpable matter that makes a life worth living. May you continue to feed on poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, driven by the wind of freedom”.

    A comment that sounds like a warning, echo of a creativity, unanimously judged, revolutionary. Explicated in these years through fashion show to the limits of reality – just think of the last one Gucci Twinsburgwith sister models – e capsule collections exclusives, such as adidas x Gucci. Not counting the exceptional testimonial (from Harry Styles to Jessica Chastain) and what matters most, as he himself has always maintained: the clothes and accessories, studied in detail and designed in a genderless key. And no, in his case it’s not a figure of speech, rather an original thought in understanding the concept of men’s and women’s wardrobe that has influenced, from 2015 onwards, even his illustrious colleagues.

    Kering’s statements

    «I was lucky enough to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014. Since then we have had the pleasure of working side by side as Gucci traced its path to success […] I want to thank Alessandro for his 20-year commitment to Gucci and for his vision, dedication and unconditional love for this unique Maison over the years as creative director.” Marco Bizzarripresident and CEO of Gucci.

    A look from the latest Gucci SS23 fashion show, which goes down in history as Alessandro Michele’s last (Photo: Imaxtree).

    To echo him, Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman of Kering: «The path that Gucci and Alessandro have traveled together in recent years is unique and will remain an exceptional moment in the history of this Maison. I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself into this adventure. His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his knowledge have put Gucci at center stage, in the place he deserves. I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his creative journey.”

    The end of a love

    When a great love ends, one always wonders why. And if the departure is clear, several doubts remain about the reasons. The rumors that are chasing each other are different, but all agree that the choice represents a turning point and an important change for the Kering brand. If the advent of Michael has been seen by all from the beginning as a Revolution, in recent years the personal taste of the designer had become increasingly stronger and connected with the Maison, to the point of identifying it. A point of no return?

    A look from the adidas x Gucci capsule, the latest for FW 22/23 signed by Alessandro Michele (Photo: Imaxtree).

    On the other hand, according to analysts and investors, this would be the right time to try new approaches and new ways by the property: the specialists of Rbc in fact they declared a wwd that «overall, the idea of ​​a change to the creative leadership of Gucci will probably be valued positively by the market and by the price of Kering’s shares». As for Michele, his “last” words – deferential and kind – fully represent him: the designer talks about «different perspectives». And, you know, business and long-term creativity collide: the latest revenue data (third quarter of 2022) gave Gucci +18%, a growth below expectations, lower than that of Bottega Veneta (+20%) and Saint Laurent (+40%).

    What future for Alessandro Michele?

    If on the one hand Gucci is therefore preparing to recruit new talent – ​​and there are many stylists out and about – one wonders what Michele will do now. Son of an Alitalia technician, his mother passed on her dazzling passion for cinema to him. And in fact he studies at the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome, initially with the dream of becoming set designer. Few know that in 2014 he became creative director of Richard Ginori, the historic Florentine porcelain brand (later acquired by Gucci in 2013). In short, the stylist’s interests are really very many, e no doubt we’ll be seeing him again in other creative guises soonmaybe even outside the world of fashion.

    A look from the first Gucci women’s show by Alessandro Michele, in 2015 (Photo: Imaxtree).

    After all, first loves are never forgotten. And one thing is certain: Alessandro Michele will continue to feed on his dreamsas he has been accustomed to up to now and as he has reminded his team to do. The wish is that you continue to make us dream too.

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