November 30, 2022

Alessandro Michele steps down as Gucci’s creative director

3 min read

written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Alessandro Michele has stepped down as creative director of Gucci after nearly eight years, a tenure that helped him revive and turn around the fortunes of the Italian label.

In announcing the decision on Wednesday, Kering, the luxury house’s parent company, said the 49-year-old designer “played a fundamental role in building the brand into what it is today.”

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the house, added in a statement: “The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the years is unique and will remain as a wonderful moment in the house’s history. .. His passion, his imagination, his intelligence and his culture put Gucci on center stage, where it belongs.”

After joining Gucci as a handbag designer, and with no experience working at a major label, Michelle had a surprise appointment to the top job in 2015. But with the brand’s relevance seemingly on the wane, it prompted a major overhaul of its identity. The sexy aesthetic was abandoned by predecessor Tom Ford in favor of a more whimsical aesthetic known as “geek chic”.

Models walk the runway at Milan Fashion Week in Michelle's last major show for Gucci.

Models walk the runway at Milan Fashion Week in Michelle’s last major show for Gucci. Credit: Daniel Venturelli/Getty Images for Gucci

Michel then ushered in an era of colorful, maximalist designs, recreating Renaissance art. Fashion and hosting elaborate runway shows at historic locations. She embraced the illustrious heritage of a brand that celebrated its centenary last year, even naming one of its iconic designs – the Dionysus handbag – after the Greek god of wine.

His gender-fluid collections also quickly blurred the lines between the label’s menswear and womenswear, while informed collaborations with the likes of Adidas and The North Face helped the label appeal to a mass market. of

Named Among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2017, Michelle met with celebrities and ranked their likes. Harry Styles And Billie Eilish As a brand ambassador. At the star-studded Met Gala in May this year, she and actor Jared Leto Shown together On the red carpet in a matching Gucci suit.
Alessandro Michele with Jared Leto at the Met Gala in May 2022.

Alessandro Michele with Jared Leto at the Met Gala in May 2022. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Revenues increased during Michael’s leadership. Kering owns several other major brands, including Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent, but Gucci now generates more than all of them combined, reportedly bringing in 9.7 billion euros ($10.1 billion) for the company last year. ) earn.

But Michel’s tenure was not without controversy. In 2019, he sent models down the runway in Milan in white straight jackets. protest One of them was Aisha Ten Jones, who held a note written on her palms that read: “Mental health is not fashion.” That same year, the label was forced to apologize for selling a sweater that was criticized. Like black faceWhile a $790 turban Attracted accusations of cultural appropriation.
Also struggled to recover from the label. The Covid-19 pandemic As sophisticated as some of its rivals – especially in China, which is now estimated to account for about a third of Gucci’s sales.

Michele, who joined Gucci in 2002, said in a statement on Wednesday: “There are times when paths diverge because we each have different perspectives. A company that I Has devoted all his love and creative spirit tirelessly.

“During this long time Gucci has been my home, my adopted family,” he added: “Together with them I have made wishes, dreams, visions.”

While Michel’s replacement has yet to be announced, Kering has suggested more change is on the way. Gucci’s design office will continue production of the brand until a “new creative organization” is announced, the group’s press release said.

TOP IMAGE: Alessandro Michele appears at the end of Gucci’s Fall Winter 2016 show at Milan Fashion Week (Reuters/Stefano Rilandini).

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