All true. Gucci has made the divorce from its creative director, Alessandro Michele, official. “Different perspectives” reads the statement from the designer, who turns 50 tomorrow (25 November 2022), 20 of which he spent at the Kering group’s flagship label. During his almost seven years as creative director, he has contributed to “making Gucci what it is today, thanks to his revolutionary creativity and always respecting the brand’s codes,” reads the brand’s statement. Now there are two things to understand. The first: who will be Gucci’s new creative director? The second: where is Michele going to work? Someone would already have the answer to this question, which coincides with a suggestive hypothesis on his future.
Gucci and Michele divorce
The official announcement came in the early evening yesterday. Alessandro Michele’s reign at Gucci lasted from 21 January 2015 to 23 November 2022. The brand’s CEO Marco Bizzarri thanked him “for his vision, dedication and unconditional love for the Maison”. François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, describes the journey over the last few years as “an exceptional moment in the history of this Maison”. Michele tries to explain the divorce thus. “There are moments when paths separate because of the different perspectives that each of us may have”. Now it will be Gucci’s creative team that will carry on the creative direction until a new organisation is announced.
Besides words, there are facts and figures. The day before Michele’s first fashion show for Gucci, Kering’s share price was €155. Yesterday 23 November, they were at 546. In 2014 Gucci’s revenues were 3.9 billion. By 2021 they had reached 9.7 billion. In recent years, however, the brand’s growth has been lower than both Kering’s other brands and its rivals. And Pinault (see Bottega Veneta) is one not to waste time, showing with this decision that he is not convinced of Michele’s ability to reinvent Gucci for a second time.
The suggestive hypothesis on his future
So who will be Gucci’s new creative? Vogue Business shoots the names of Tom Ford, Riccardo Tisci, and Phoebe Philo, but also the young Peter Do. If Pinault wanted to fish in the house of Kering, he could bet on Matthieu Blazy of Bottega Veneta or Anthony Vaccarello of Saint Laurent. But getting lost in speculation today is perhaps futile. Equally imaginative is trying to guess which designer label will accept the challenge and responsibility of hiring Michele? And here, a suggestive hypothesis about his future emerges. In fact, taking into account the probable and temporary non-competition clause contained in the termination of the contract with Gucci, Michele could fill the vacant role that has characterised the creative direction of Louis Vuitton since November 2021. Yes: what if he were Virgil Abloh’s successor? (mv)