Alessandro Michele Departs Gucci

After 7 years at the helm, Michele parts ways with the luxury Italian brand

Alessandro Michele Departs Gucci
Yaseen Dockrat

Alessandro Michele and Gucci confirmed the swirling rumours, that the Rome-born designer will be leaving his role as Creative Director of Gucci. 

Michele took over the role in 2015 and had been instrumental in transforming Gucci from a symbol of past glamour to one of the hottest brands that brought with it a wider culture of conversation on topics of gender, sexual identity and race. Michele’s transformation brought about a new life, not only to the brand but to the larger world of fashion as well. 

“There are times when path’s part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have,” Michele wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Michele was hired by Gucci’s then Creative Director Tom Ford. Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri gave Michele the role of creative director in 2015 following the dismissal of Frida Giannini. From there Michele took control, refreshing and changing the brand to become relative to a wider and more diverse set of consumers. The results were incredible, and Gucci’s revenue skyrocketed exponentially while Michele implemented his quirky, maximalist, and glamorous aesthetic that is now synonymous with the house of Gucci. As Gucci bids farewell to Michele and looks to a new era, we look at Michele’s best moments as Creative Director of the famed fashion house. 

Whimsical beginning’s

Just a week before Gucci’s FW/15 collection, Michele stepped into the role of creative director. His entre was seamless, and his impact was immediate. Michele started with the first look of his collection, bringing his androgynous aesthetic to the brand immediately. The show opened with a whimsical pussy bow blouse paired with black trousers. His reign at Gucci would follow suit, and whimsical androgyny would become a staple. 


Head in Hand 

FW/2018 will always be remembered for Gucci’s severed head accessory. The accessory modelled on selected models took six months to make. At the show, these models walked with life-size identical human heads in hand down the runway in what was Michele’s fantastical cyborg-themed show. The show also included horns, baby dragons, iguanas, and third eyes. Michele used the Italian special effects studio Makiarium to create these pieces. The most telling moment, though, may have come in May, when Jerad Leto was at the Met Gala. Michele’s muse, and friend, Leto, was dressed head to toe in Gucci and carried a replica of his head under his arm. 

Reviewing the fashion calendar

After months of lockdown, in May 202 Michele announced that Gucci would be embarking on a new path in terms of its fashion shows and collections. Driven by sustainability, Michele announced that Gucci would decrease the number of shows, cutting down from five presentations a year to two seasonless ones. He also announced the shows would include a co-ed collection. Michele broke away from the traditional runway layout, as he looked to reduce waste and breathe new life into fashion. 


Breaking Gender Norms

Michele’s time at Gucci may well be remembered for its flamboyance. The designer was never confined by gendered norms. Throughout his tenure Michele subverted these norms, dressing Jarred Leto in a gown, and on numerous occasions, Harry Styles wore androgynous clothing. Remember Styles in pearls and pumps, or the time Michele dressed him in a pussy bow blouse? 


Twinsburg SS/23

If keeping the collection fresh and his shows exciting, his last show as the creative director may just be the one. It was certainly the talk of SS/23 fashion weeks. Michele sent identical models down the runway in the same outfit. The collection received praise for its designs, as well as Michele’s ability to keep things fresh. 

While it isn’t clear who would succeed Michele at Gucci, or where Michele will go next, the pair seemed to have been a match made in couture heaven from 2015.