Alessandro Michele has left his role as creative director of Gucciannounced by the fashion house on Wednesday, ending an eight-year tenure that redefined the codes of Gucci with romanticism and gender-fluidity, all while boosting revenues for tremor parents
Womenswear Daily reported Michele’s expected departure on Tuesday, citing sources who said Michele failed to meet a request to “start a strong design change, ” and that the chairman of Gucci’s parent Kering, Francois-Henri Pinault, is looking for a change of pace. .
No mention of such backroom moves was made in the statement announcing Michele’s departure, in which Gucci credited him with having “a fundamental part in making the brand what it is today through his groundbreaking creativity. “
Michele cited “different views” as the reason for her departure, without elaborating.
“Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, which will last more than 20 years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my passion and creativity,” he said.
Michele was appointed creative director in January 2015, just days after he led a creative team that put together a menswear show in just five days, following the sudden exit of his predecessor. The collection heralded Gucci’s new direction, with silken blouses for men with elaborate bows and ruffled necks along with fur-trimmed capes, as Michele redefined the masculine dressing codes.
For most of his tenure, Gucci turned in stellar profits, accounting for the majority of Kerings’ profits. But it is under some scrutiny recently after bad opponents.
Michele’s collaborations with Hollywood elites and VIPs have always been rooted in friendship. Jared Leto was a frequent guest on the front of Gucci shows during Michele’s time, at one time adopting the same straight long hair and beard worn by the Gucci designer.
Michele has also famously dressed Billie Eilish, Florence Welch and the Italian rock band Maneskin on its current tour. And he recently unveiled a collection designed with Harry Styles.
For her final runway collection, unveiled in September, Michele constructed a parallel universe of side-by-side shows separated by a wall that when lifted revealed twins in identical synchronic stride. The reveal of 68 sets of identically dressed twins left normally jaded fashionistas confessing they were brought to tears.
Michele joined Gucci in 2002, becoming associate creative director in May 2011. In 2014, he was named creative director of the Richard Ginori porcelain brand, owned by Gucci. He previously worked as a senior accessories designer at Fendi and studied at the Accademia di Costume e di Moda in Rome.
The CEO and president of Gucci, Marco Bizzarri, thanked Michele “for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci, and for his vision, devotion and unconditional love for this extraordinary house.”
“The path that Gucci and Alessandro have walked together over the past years has been extraordinary and will remain a unique moment in the house’s history,” Pinault said in a statement.
Gucci said the in-house design team will take over the collections until a new creative director is named.
“To them go my most heartfelt wishes: may you continue to cultivate your dreams, that subtle and intangible thing that makes life worth living,” Michele said in her farewell statement.
Our new weekly Impact Report newsletter will examine how ESG news and trends are shaping the roles and responsibilities of today’s executives—and how they can best navigate the challenges. Subscribe here.