Moving on. Gucci‘s creative director Alessandro Michele is leaving the Italian fashion house.
The luxury label announced his departure in a press release on Wednesday, November 23, explaining that the designer is “stepping down.”
President Marco Bizarri and CEO of Kering François-Henri Pinault applauded Michele, 49, in the memo. “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,” Bizarri said. He added: “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.”
Pinault echoed similar sentiments, saying: “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.”
Michele, for his part, expressed appreciation for his time at the company. “There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have,” he began. “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.”
The creative went on to praise his Gucci 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,” Michele said. “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.”
Michele first joined Gucci in 2002 as an accessories designer before being appointed creative director in January 2015. While with the brand, Michele reinvented Gucci, giving the label a more lively and animated aesthetic — especially in the menswear department. He introduced colors, patterns and vibrant silhouettes.
His most standout creation includes the severed heads models carried down the fall 2018 runway. Jared Leto famously rocked the accessory, which was made to look exactly like the actor, at the 2019 Met Gala.
Michele styled Leto, 50, and Harry Styles, challenging gender norms. He was the brains behind the 28-year-old “Watermelon Sugar” singer’s black sheer gown and pearls at the 2019 Met Gala.
More recently, the artist cast 68 pairs of twins to strut down the spring 2023 runway during Milan Fashion Week. The siblings were dressed in identical clothing, which was meant to celebrate twins and his decision to repurpose archival Gucci pieces.
A replacement for Michele has not yet been announced.