Alessandro leaves Gucci

Alessandro Michele has finished his journey at Gucci after 20 plus years.  The Roman designer was plucked from the accessories section 7 years ago by the CEO Marco Bizzari and became creative director.  Since then he has changed Gucci into being the more eccentric brand you see today and becoming more relevant to the younger audience.  He established his aesthetic by growing his fan base within the Hollywood community.  This included Jared Leto, Dakota Johnson, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles, who advertised his Gucci style endlessly.  He pushed for the House of Gucci Movie, where his friend Jared Leto played Paolo Gucci and Lady Gaga wore his gowns on the red carpet.  It is said that although the movie was based on a book published in 2000 by Sara Gay Forden, it wasn't until Gucci became relevant again due to Michele that the movie was pushed into production.

His last catwalk show for Spring 2023 was so iconic, featuring 68 sets of twins wearing the same outfits.  As a twin myself, I love that!  Shortly after this Billie Eilish and her brother were also shot wearing custom made Gucci looks that broke the internet, so everything appeared to be going great!  But Gucci was underperforming compared to other brands under the umbrella of Kering (YSL, Bottega, Mcqueen) and the competitor LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi).    The reasons why Michele has left have not been shared, but we can only assume they wanted to shake up the brand.  His parting statement was 'There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us have'.  'Today, an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than 20 years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion'.  He had many collaborations during his 7 years including Balenciaga, Adidas and Palace and he was reported to be the most recognised brand amongst Gen Z consumers.  Lets please not forget that without Michele we wouldn't have the Gucci marmont belt that is the most popular designer belt in the world!!

Lets talk bags, my favourite things! Alessandro is responsible for 3 big ones during his time as creative director:

1) The Gucci Dionysus - This bag was launched in 2015 and it was the bag that started Michele's success for Gucci as it was very well received.  I own this bag, it was my first designer bag and I adore it.  The boxy silhouette, chain strap and the horseshoe clasp with the tiger head engraving are all features that take on a new equestrian style.   Despite its rise to being the 'it' bag when it was released, it is still a bag that has remained popular season after season.

2) The Gucci Marmont - This bag was introduced in 2016 and has since become one of the most popular bags.  It comes in different styles, but the camera bag is arguably the most popular as it was the most affordable bag for anyone wanting a Gucci handbag at that time.  I can still hardly walk down a street without seeing one person wearing this bag.  

3) The Gucci Horsebit - This beautiful bag  released in 2020 was a reinvention of the 1955 horsebit and I adore it.  I love that the brand has gone back to its roots and reinvented it.  The horsebit buckle is an ode to the brands equestrian heritage that we see on its loafers and many other items.  A far more classic label in my opinion than the big metal GG clasp of the marmont.  If I had to buy any bag from Gucci right now, it would be this one!  Lots of brands are going back to their roots right now and I'm not mad at it!

This isn't unusual for a creative director to move on after this amount of time, usually a company needs a shift of design to shake it up and that generally means a new creative director.  We've seen it many times before and i'm looking forward to seeing who comes next and their input into the brand.


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