6 dicembre 2022
by Laura Antonini

Out of fashion


Even the best love stories come to an end. Just like a marriage, after seven years, Alessandro Michele bid farewell to Gucci — the maison founded in Florence in 1921, where the designer from Rome took over as creative director in 2015 — one evening in late fall. 

“There are times when paths diverge due to individual differences in perspective,” said Alessandro Michele in his farewell message. “Today, an extraordinary journey ends for me, which lasted more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly devoted all my love and creative passion. During this long period, Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individual people who have cared for and supported it, goes my heartfelt thanks, my strongest and emotional embrace. Together with them I have desired, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible. To them, therefore, my most sincere wish: may you continue to feed on your dreams, the subtle and impalpable stuff that makes life worth living. May you continue to feed on poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, blown by the wind of freedom.”

The leaving day was not chosen at random by Alessandro Michele, famously sensitive to esotericism and numerology. Indeed, November 23 is Fibonacci Day, in which we celebrate the mathematical genius famous for having identified the Fibonacci sequence of positive integers in which each number is the sum of the previous two. 1123 is therefore a magic number that falls just two days before November 25, the date on which the designer, born in 1972, will celebrate his 50th birthday.

There are times when paths diverge due to individual differences in perspective” 

Cabala aside, from 21 January 7 years ago to today, this creative figure has undoubtedly marked a new path in the history of Gucci, where, starting in London in 2002 at the time of Tom Ford, he grew continuously, becoming associate director in 2011 of the then creative director Frida Giannini, from whom he later took over. An eclectic and visionary creative artist who catapulted the brand to revived success, making it the spearhead among the brands of the François-Henri Pinault group, also thanks to the infallible synergy established with Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci.

“I was lucky enough to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014,” said Bizzarri, “Since then, we have had the pleasure of working side by side, while Gucci marked its path to success over the past eight years. I want to thank Alessandro for his twenty-year commitment to Gucci and for his vision, dedication and unconditional love for this unique Maison, over his years as Creative Director.

Oggi per me finisce uno straordinario viaggio, durato più di venti anni, dentro un'azienda a cui ho dedicato instancabilmente tutto il mio amore

The style that Alessandro Michele has brought to the brand is certainly a unique experience on the fashion scene. His is a fluid, dreamlike and contaminated vision in languages borrowed from art as well as cinema, photography and literature.

Yet always faithful to the heritage of codes and distinctions of a brand that just last year celebrated its first 100 years of history: the two interlocked Gs but also archival fabrics, such as the bayadere, with broad cardamon ocher or turmeric colored stripes, used on suitcases and bags in the 1950s, and also the horse bits, the green-red-green bands and the entire archive (for which Michele also created a beautiful home in the historic home of the Maison in via delle Caldaie in Florence) have been contaminated and regenerated in the garments of his collections. Clothes and accessories, jewelry, but also gadgets, books and advertising campaigns that immediately became iconic and desired by a broad-ranging and international audience of very young people, artists, men and women. A kaleidoscopic universe where the division between men and women on the catwalk has been eliminated, just like the dates of the fashion shows, which are no longer seasonal.

The revolutions that have influenced the wardrobes of Millennials, like the choices of competing names in fashion over the last seven years, also include the idea of making the fashion shows authentic experiences and holding them in art venues. In 2017, it was the turn of the ‘Planet Rooms’ in the Palatine Gallery at Palazzo Pitti in Florence; in 2019, the Capitoline Museums in Rome; and, just a few months ago, his show Cosmogonie was staged in Puglia in Castel Del Monte during the lunar eclipse, described by guests as spectacular. 

The legacy left by Alessandro Michela at Gucci is also valued by François-Henri Pinault, who bid a fond farewell to the designer: “The road that Gucci and Alessandro have traveled together in recent years is unique and will remain an exceptional moment in the history of this maison. I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his creative journey.”

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