In a statement announcing the split, the house paid tribute to Michele’s dedication to the brand.
Michele has become known for Gucci’s romantic and wildly creative designs during the period he led the Italy-based luxury label. He was promoted to creative director in January 2015 after holding a number of other design roles with the house.
“I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014, since then we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years,” said Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri in a statement shared with WWD.
“I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion and unconditional love for this unique house during his tenure as creative director.”
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, the parent company of Gucci, paid tribute to Michele’s “passion, imagination, and ingenuity”.
“The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the past years is unique and will remain as an outstanding moment in the history of the House, Pinault said.
“I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself in this adventure. His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci center stage, where its place is. I wish him a great next chapter in his creative journey.”
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Michele responded in a statement of his own marking the end of an “extraordinary journey.”
“There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have,” he said.
“Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals, who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible. To them goes my most sincerest wish: may you continue to cultivate your dreams, the subtle and intangible matter that makes life worth living. May you continue to nourish yourselves with poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, propelled by the wind of freedom.”
Gucci’s design team will lead the house forward until a new “creative organisation” is announced, according to the statement.