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A New Era at Gucci

January 22nd, 2015 Written By Carol Pawley

 

Alessandro Michele is Gucci’s new Creative Director

The French luxury group Kering, owner of brands that include Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent, announced the promotion of Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s head of accessories, to Creative Director.  Banking on his “creative vision”,  Kering, the world’s third-largest luxury group, gave the 42 year old total creative responsibility for all of Gucci’s collections and brand image.

Alessandro, virtually unknown outside of Gucci and the accessories field, replaces his former boss, star designer Frida Giannini, who-along with the chief executive Patrizio di Marco-was asked to leave the Italian fashion house at the end of last year.

Giannini’s departure was the result of stalled sales at Gucci in recent years. It seems luxury consumers have turned away from flashy, logo-emblazoned goods — long Gucci’s cachet — in favor of subtler fashion statements. If you ask me, it was about time!

Alessandro Michele has been a rising force inside Gucci, where he has worked since 2002. He is the third accessory designer to take the main creative reins at a major brand, following Ms. Giannini; who was design director of Gucci accessories under Tom Ford.

The appointment of a widely respected accessories designer like Michele makes sense. According to Claudia D’Arpizio, a luxury goods specialist with the Bain & Company consulting firm in Milan, accessories are one of the largest segments of the luxury market, representing close to one-third of the $250 billion spent on high-end goods globally each year.

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