Gucci has confirmed the appointment of Alessandro Michele, as the new Creative Director for the brand.
The announcement comes following Frida Giannini’s swift exit from the Kering owned label earlier this month. Giannini, alongside partner and previous Chief Executive Patrizio di Marco, left Gucci after being linked to the brand’s falling sales, which makes up half of Kering’s luxury revenues. In October last year, Gucci reported another weak quarter of growth despite a relaunch of its high-margin leather goods business.
As is usual for the luxury Italian label, the position was filled in-house. Rightly so it seems, as its former accessories designer Michele was met with a round of applause after he and his team showed a collection designed in just seven days, at the Gucci menswear show in Milan on Monday. This designs were produced in lieu of Giannini’s work which were scrapped and replaced by work that received acclaim.
“After a considered and thorough selection process, Alessandro Michele has been chosen to assume the role as Gucci creative director, based upon the contemporary vision he has articulated for the brand that he will now bring to life,” said Marco Bizzarri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci in a statement. “Alessandro and I are fully aligned on this new contemporary vision needed by the brand.
Alessandro’s talent and his knowledge of the company and the design teams in place will for sure allow him to move quickly and seamlessly in implementing his new creative direction for the collections and the brand,” continued Bizzarri, who was previously the CEO of Kering’s couture and leather goods division. François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, added:
“Throughout its history, Gucci has always created attention and excitement through its innovative and distinctive products and collections as it has become Italy’s most renowned fashion house and one of the most iconic and prominent luxury brands in the world. Alessandro Michele has both the qualities and the vision necessary to bring a new contemporary perspective to Gucci and lead the brand into an exciting new creative chapter of its history.
Michele first worked with Frida Giannini at Fendi, where he served as senior accessories designer. He moved to Gucci in 2002, where he was promoted to Giannini’s associate in 2011.
His first collection as Creative Director will be at the women’s ready-to-wear show for Autumn/Winter 2015-2016, to be presented on 25 February in Milan.
Michele will now be responsible for all Gucci’s collections and global brand image, Kering has said. After 12 years at Gucci, most recently as associate designer to Giannini, Michele has earned the end of show bow.