Alessandro Michele is stepping down as Gucci’s creative director, the fashion house announced Wednesday, ending an eight-year tenure that dramatically redefined Gucci codes with romance and gender fluidity while bolstering its Kering parent’s revenues.
Womenswear Daily reported Michele’s expected departure on Tuesday, citing sources who said she had failed to comply with a request to “initiate a strong design change” and that Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman of Gucci’s parent Kering, was looking for a change of pace. .
The statement announcing Michele’s departure made no mention of such behind-the-scenes moves, with Gucci crediting him “with his foundational creativity for playing a key role in making the brand what it is today.”
Michel cited “different perspectives” as his reason for leaving, without going into details.
“Today marks the end of an extraordinary journey of more than 20 years in a company to which I tirelessly devoted all my love and creative passion,” he said.
Michel was appointed creative director in January 2015, just days after leading the creative team to launch menswear in just five days following his predecessor’s hasty departure. This collection announced the new direction of Gucci. Silk blouses and fur-trimmed hats for men with elegant bows and ruffled necks, as Michele redefines menswear codes.
During his tenure, Gucci achieved excellent returns, accounting for the majority of Kerings profits. However, this has come under some scrutiny recently after competitors have underperformed.
Michelle’s partnerships with Hollywood elite and VIPs were often rooted in friendship. Jared Leto was a frequent front-row guest at Gucci shows during Michele’s tenure, adopting the same straight long hair and beard that the Gucci designer sported for a while.
Michelle has also dressed the likes of Billie Eilish, Florence Welch and Italian rock band Maneskin on her current tour. And recently presented a collection designed with Harry Styles.
For her latest runway collection, shown in September, Michelle constructed a parallel universe of parallel shows separated by a wall that, when lifted, revealed identical twins with synchronized steps. The emergence of 68 sets of identically dressed twins had normally jaded fashionistas admitting they were reduced to tears.
Michele joined Gucci in 2002 and became assistant creative director in May 2011. In 2014, he was appointed creative director of Gucci’s Richard Ginori porcelain brand. He previously worked as a senior accessories designer at Fendi and studied at the Accademia di Costume e di Moda in Rome.
Gucci CEO and President Marco Bizzarri thanked Michele “for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and his vision, loyalty and unconditional love for this unique house.”
“The path that Gucci and Alessandro have taken together in recent years is unique and will remain a significant moment in the house’s history,” said Pinault.
Gucci said the in-house design team will take over the collections until a new creative director is named.
“My most sincere wish goes out to them: continue to cultivate your dreams, the subtle and intangible matter that makes life worth living,” Michelle said in her farewell statement.
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