Late last year, in a move that was rumored in the days prior but came as a shock to many, Gucci and Alessandro Michele ended their partnership. Michele, who joined the house in 2002, eventually worked his way up to creative director in 2015, and nearly overnight, the House of Gucci changed. His success at the House has been named one of the greatest fashion come-ups of the last decade, and rightfully so. Michele was responsible for not only shifting the House’s aesthetic, creating the Gucci we know and love today, but he was the driving force behind some of the handbag world’s biggest hits (and the archival revival trend).
Alessandro Michele’s Gucci might have been wacky and weird to some, but his boundary-breaking creativity has become a moment in fashion history that won’t soon be forgotten. Michele could design outside of the norm but still stay true to Gucci’s heritage. Not only that, his time at the House was incredibly lucrative. Still, the House craved change, which ultimately led to Michele’s departure from Gucci.
Out With the Old, In With the…
Earlier this year, Gucci announced that it would now be helmed by Sabato de Sarno a 39-year-old Italian-born designer whose background includes stints at Valentino, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana. Shortly thereafter, the brand presented its fall 2023 collection at Milan Fashion Week, which was designed by in-house teams before de Sarno’s appointment.
We will continue to see nods to Gucci’s past, particularly the Tom Ford era, but I think it will be done through a new lens, de Sarno’s lens. I’m expecting new Gucci to feel inherently Gucci but in a way that reads far more minimalist than before. Gucci’s revenue fell in Q4 of 2022, and overall parent company Kering cited 2022 as a “challenging year” for the House. This is one of many solid indicators that shoppers have grown tired of the maximalism that Michele provided as fashion trends away from the post-pandemic more-is-more mindset. We’ve already discussed how quiet luxury is suddenly taking over, and I think we can expect to see that shift at Gucci as well.
Sabato de Sarno will present his first collection for Gucci during Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024 this September. What do you hope to see from new Gucci?