Gucci has appointed Alessandro Michele as creative director following the departure of Frida Giannini.
He takes on the responsibility for all of Gucci’s collections and global image, and the direction in which he intends to take it has been described as “contemporary”.
It was expected that Giannini was to step down after presenting the womenswear collections in February. However, she made a surprise early exit from the company earlier this month.
Michele’s appointment, however, is no surprise to industry insiders. He was expected to step into Giannini’s shoes. And when you read his resume it is clear that the company is in good hands.
Born in Rome in 1972, Michele, 42, studied fashion at the Academy of Costume & Fashion in Rome. He forged his early design career inside Fendi where he was Senior Accessories Designer, and in 2002 his rising talent was tapped by Tom Ford which saw him move to Gucci’s London-based design office.
That was 12 years ago. Over that time Michele has held a variety of roles at Gucci. In 2006 he was named Leather Goods Design Director and promoted in May 2011 as Associate to Giannini.
Passionate about interiors and decor, he took on the additional role of Creative Director of Richard Ginori (fine Florentine porcelain brand acquired by Gucci) in September 2014.
It was during the recent Gucci Men’s Autumn/Winter 15-16 runway show on January 19 where Michele first revealed a contemporary new direction for the House. The word is that Michele and his team pulled off a 180-degree design change in under a week.
His full vision for Gucci will emerge during the Women’s Autumn/Winter 15-16 runway show in Milan on February 25.
“Alessandro’ 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. The Gucci Men’s Autumn/Winter 15-16 collection presented on 19 January, which was realised thanks to a remarkable collaboration between the men’s design and production teams, is a clear indication that the brand is ready to take a new direction,” Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri said.
Chairman and CEO of Kering, Francois-Henri Pinault, described Michele as having “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”.