Kering Group confirms Alessandro Michele is leaving Gucci but has not yet found a replacement for him as creative director.
After 20 years of dedication to Gucci, Alessandro Michele officially said goodbye
The Kering Group, the owner of the Gucci brand, announced that creative director Alessandro Michele will leave the Gucci fashion house, after more than 20 years working with the Italian brand, including 7 years as creative director.
“Sometimes we don’t walk together because each person has a different view. Today, a wonderful journey of mine ends. For more than 20 years I have devoted all my love and creativity to a company,” shared Alessandro Michele. The designer came to Gucci in 2002 under Tom Ford, was slowly promoted under Frida Giannini, then was promoted to the position of Creative Director in 2015.
François-Henri Pinault, president, and chief executive officer of Kering, thanked Alessandro Michele for his contributions. “His enthusiasm, creativity, sincerity and culture have helped elevate Gucci.”
WWD reported it a few days ago. An anonymous source shared with WWD that Alessandro Michele was required to change the design style to create new appeal for the brand when the business situation was not very positive in the past 3 years. However, his new designs did not meet the requirements of the parent company Kering.
Take, for example, the women’s Gucci Spring Summer 2023 ready-to-wear show in Milan. Despite making a big splash when inviting 68 twins to the show and creating dazzling stage effects, Gucci’s designs this season still bear the familiar imprint of Alessandro Michele, not groundbreaking. “Twins distract from a fragmented collection,” commented model Scott Staniland on Instagram.
When Alessandro Michele took over as creative director at Gucci in 2015, his layered maximalism style with dazzling motifs was an instant hit. Gucci’s sales increased from 3.9 billion euros in 2015 to 9.7 billion euros in 2021; net profit tripled.
However, the problem causing internal turmoil is that the growth rate decreases year by year. The peak was in 2017 when Gucci grew to 45%. By 2019 only 13%. And by 2021, it will drop to 9%. Gucci is considered to have less resilience when compared to other brands of the Kering group, as well as to competitor brands after the pandemic.
Most recently, in the third quarter of 2022, total Gucci sales grew only 9%, while Saint Laurent reached 30%, LVMH’s fashion group increased by 22%, and both Hermès and Chanel grew at the same rate. 2-digit degree.
Many market analysts commented that Alessandro Michele’s design style made Gucci seen as boring and lacking in innovation. From 2015 to now, the designer has always maintained the maximalism style, mixed with the breath of the 1970s, trendy but retro. After the pandemic, customers are looking for something more minimalist, hard to go out of fashion, and not considered ostentatious. Therefore, the design style of Alessandro Michele is no longer suitable for this need.
“Gucci is suffering from a boring brand image because Alessandro Michele hasn’t changed in seven years,” said Luca Solca, luxury market analyst at investment consulting firm Bernstein. “To continue to grow, Gucci needs to open a new creative chapter.” And the fastest way is to replace the creative director.
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