Chief designer Alessandro Michele quits Gucci

NAfter nearly eight years as chief designer, Alessandro Michele leaves Gucci. The Italian brand, which belongs to the Kering group, announced this late on Wednesday evening.

Alfons Kaiser

Responsible editor for the section “Germany and the world” and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin.

The forty-nine-year-old, who has worked for the fashion house since 2002 and has been at the creative helm since January 21, 2015, is one of today’s most important fashion designers. His romantic, playful style, which attempted to break down the boundaries between men and women, was hugely influential. With his spectacular fashion, he helped multiply the turnover of the fashion house to almost ten billion euros a year and to bring Italian fashion economically to the level of major Parisian competitors such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel.

“Alessandro Michele, with his groundbreaking creativity, has been instrumental in making the brand what it is today,” Gucci wrote in the statement. There is no word yet on a possible successor.

“Today ends an extraordinary journey for me”

In an emotional post on Instagram, Michele wrote in English and Italian: “There are times when we break up because each of us has a different perspective. Today ends for me an extraordinary journey that has lasted more than 20 years, in a company to which I tirelessly devoted all my love and creative passion. During that long time, Gucci was my home, my adoptive family. To this extended family, to all who have cared for and supported them, I send my sincerest thanks, my greatest and deepest hugs. Together with them I have wished, dreamed and imagined something. Without them, nothing I have built would have been possible.”

With Michele's help, pop star Harry Styles rose to become a style icon.  In 2019, they walked the red carpet at the Met Gala together.

With Michele’s help, pop star Harry Styles rose to become a style icon. In 2019, they walked the red carpet at the Met Gala together.

Image: AFP

Countless designers, influencers, critics and models commented on the post, which received more than 315,000 likes on Thursday morning. “Thank you for your designs and for sharing your dreams with us, and thank you for nurturing young creatives from Africa and emerging markets,” supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote. In a special Instagram post, fashion critic Suzy Menkes wrote: “How much fun I had with Gucci’s dynamic Alessandro Michele! Gone are the days when crazy accessories dominated understated clothing?”

Born November 25, 1972, Alessandro Michele turns 50 on Friday, grew up in Rome. His father was an Alitalia technician, his mother an assistant to the manager of a film production company. The artistically gifted boy studied fashion design at the Accademia di Costume e di Moda in Rome, where he also designed theater costumes.

After several years at the knitwear company Les Copains in Bologna and at Fendi (under Silvia Venturini Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld), the then creative director Tom Ford brought him to Gucci in 2002. In 2006 he was appointed chief designer for leather goods there and in 2011 he became deputy to the then design chief Frida Giannini. Since 2015, he has surpassed her rather reduced style with his imaginative, lavish designs, which marked a small era in fashion history.

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