While you were busy making pumpkin pie and shopping the Thanksgiving Weekend sales, news of one of the biggest designer shakeups of the last few years hit. Gucci announced Wednesday that creative director Alessandro Michele would be leaving the company after rumblings of his possible departure began circulating early last week.
Alessandro Michele’s success at the House is one of fashion’s greatest come-ups of the last decade. Gucci’s long, storied history followed a neat, methodical evolution up until Alessandra Michele became creative director. Almost overnight, the House’s aesthetic shifted, and Alessandro Michele’s Gucci proved to be both incredibly lucrative and highly sought-after.
Where It All Began
Michele was named creative director in 2015, but his tenure with the brand spans well beyond his 8 years at the brand’s helm. In fact, his time at the House dates back to the Tom Ford era, when Michele, who has since become a household name, was still an unknown industry force.
According to The Cut, CEO of Kering, Gucci’s parent company, François-Henri Pinault fondly looked back at Michele’s time at the brand calling it an “outstanding moment in the history of the house.” The company declined to comment much further on the reason for the change.
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 -Alessandro Michele
As for Michele, the prolific designer known for his boundary-breaking designs and eclectic aesthetic expressed his sincere gratitude for his tenure at Gucci. The visionary took to Instagram to express his thoughts on the shocking announcement, stating “There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have. 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.” He went on to extend his gracious thanks to the team and the House of Gucci, which he called “home.”
A New Direction
Sources say that parent company Kering is looking for a design shift in order to maintain the momentum cultivated under Michele’s reign. An unnamed source told WWD that the designer “was asked to initiate a strong design shift” but was unable to meet the demands. While it is unclear what’s next for Gucci as a successor has yet to be named, one thing is for sure; all of fashion’s eyes will be watching.