Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci since 2015, is set to leave the company, marking the end of an era for Italy’s most prominent fashion brand. Since stepping into the shoes as creative director, Michele has been a meticulous styling pioneer. The well-established brand signatures of streetwear-inspired merchandising and quirky, gender-fluid styling represent just a tiny fraction of Michele’s contributions.
A sweeping and complete update of Gucci’s image, communications, and visual merchandising shepherded by Michele in combination with CEO Marco Bizzarri enchanted a new world of consumers, and helped obtain a younger generation of consumers for an industry that has historically focused on more mature audiences. The bridging of this gap has shaped the luxury industry to uphold the limitlessness of modernity.
Despite falling revenues during and after the pandemic, Michele’s time with the brand reflects excellent profit margins. From 2015 through 2019, Gucci’s revenues nearly tripled, and profits quadrupled- an unlikely occurrence in the modern luxury industry. In 2022, Gucci is anticipated to close with an annual revenue of $10.3 billion, marking a significant achievement for the company. Gucci, a Kering-owned brand, released a statement ensuring that the design studio will “continue to carry the direction of the House forward” until a new creative configuration is announced.
The creative helm of the House was not only an inspiration for the luxury retail industry at large, but Michele’s work also touched those in close contact with his genius. François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO of Kering, said: “The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the past years is unique and will remain an outstanding moment in the history of the House. I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself into this adventure. His passion, imagination, ingenuity and culture put Gucci center stage, where its place is. I wish him a great next chapter in his creative journey.”
After a nearly eight-year run, Michele’s final statement to the public leaves nothing unsaid. He wrote, “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. 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.”