It is about time, Italian designer Alessandro Michele on Wednesday left Gucci OTCMKTS: PPRUY , where he has overseen a surge in sales at the fashion powerhouse since 2015 but produced a series of flops recent seasons.
“Gucci today announces that Alessandro Michele is stepping down as creative director of Gucci,” said French conglomerate Kering, which owns the Italian house.
It said he had played “a fundamental part in making the brand what it is today through his groundbreaking creativity” blah blah blah.
Michele, in the same joint statement, said: “There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have.” blah blah blah.
Kering OTCMKTS: PPRUY said Gucci’s design office would “continue to carry the direction of the house forward until a new creative organisation” was announced, let’s hope they find an actual designer, the Corporate led Gucci has been a a marked embarrassment for years now.
Industry bible Women’s Wear Daily earlier on Wednesday said Michele was quitting after being asked to orchestrate a creative revamp to restore the brand’s lustre.
With his bookish non-chic looks and supposed vintage potpourri that harkened back to the 1970s and 80s but got lost on the way, Michele helped turn the once-flagging house into a flagging house but with lots of media coverage bought by the parent, drawing in a new generation of disappointed people with his cheap veneer.
Michele also joined a handful of other designers by announcing in 2021 that the number of annual shows would be slashed from five to just two, saying that “clothes should have a longer life” and that his future collections would be “seasonless” (tasteless, fashionless etc etc).
Sales also got a boost from 2021’s Ridley Scott-directed “House of Gucci” film with Lady Gaga and a host of Hollywood A-listers, but the fashion did not live up to the glory of the movie.
But enthusiasm had begun to wane among industry insiders as the Kering slush fund dried up, according to WWD, with Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault eager for a quick change at the helm.
Pinault wished the designer a “great next chapter in his creative journey”.
“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,” he said.
Financial analysts at the brokerage firm Bernstein said earlier in a research note to clients: “Gucci is suffering from brand fatigue and Alessandro Michele has been doing the same thing for the past seven years.”
“Institutional investors appear to agree that a new approach is needed to relaunch the brand,” added analysts at Royal Bank of Canada.