On November 23, 2022, Gucci announced that Alessandro Michele is stepping down as creative director of the Italian luxury brand. Michele has spent the last 20 years of his career with the iconic fashion house, serving at the creative helm since 2015. Prior to that, Michele was involved in the company’s footwear and accessories department.
“There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have.” Alessandro Michele shared in a statement on an instagram post announcing his departure. ‘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.’”
How Alessandro Michele reinvented Gucci
Since his appointment as creative director, Michele’s groundbreaking creativity has been instrumental in making the brand what it is today. The designer is responsible for reinventing the Italian heritage label into a representative of inclusivity, promoting the cultural conversation around gender, sexual identity, and race. The eccentric, androgynous, and glamorous aesthetic he introduced is now considered Gucci’s trademark. Michele is also responsible for growing the brand’s sales exponentially.
‘I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014, since then we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years. I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion, and unconditional love for this unique House during his tenure as Creative Director.’ said Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci.
‘The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the past years is unique and will remain as an outstanding moment in the history of the House. I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself in this adventure. His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci center stage, where its place is. I wish him a great next chapter in his creative journey.’ added François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO of Kering, the global luxury group that manages Gucci.
While everyone is curious to see what comes next for the Italian designer, designboom takes a look back at some of his most iconic moments during his time at Gucci.
Blurring the lines between masculine and feminine
Alessandro Michele caused a stir with his first collection, the Gucci Men’s Fall/Winter 2015-16. In this collection, the Italian designer made a 180-degree turnaround in terms of the brand’s foundations, which until then had been based on a minimalist, sophisticated. The change was evident right from the first look on the runway: a male model wearing a bright red pussy bow blouse. The feminine touch in the men’s collection was representative of Michele’s decision to take Gucci into more experimental territory, blurring the lines between masculine and feminine. From the garments to the accessories and styling of the models, androgyny was emphasized in this collection, marking a turning point for the famed fashion house.