Gucci, owned by French luxury group Kering, is one of the most coveted brands in fashion. The label specializes in high-fashion accessories and luxury goods.
Creative director Alessandro Michele departed the brand in November after seven years at the helm, leaving the question of who will lead the label forward for the coming seasons. He also announced plans to reduce the number of runway shows and end separate collections for men and women.
Alessandro Michele is a fashion designer at gucci, a house owned by French luxury company Kering. Since being named creative director in 2015, he has transformed the brand, drawing in new fans with his eclectic style and gender fluidity.
When he first joined the brand, Michele’s designs were rooted in a mix of vintage mash-ups and bookish chic. He also embraced a gender fluidity that was often overlooked in high-end fashion, and his collections pushed the boundaries of Gucci’s longtime glamor.
Michele’s first collection for Gucci, in fall 2015, reimagined the Italian label’s classics in an era of gender nonconformity and conflated diametric style codes into one unified vision. It included an entire runway show that took place in a futuristic hospital room, half-and-half coats with plaid tailoring and full-length velvet gowns, button-up shirts, balaclavas, severed heads, baby dragons, and a New York Yankees collaboration.
In addition to embracing gender fluidity and pushing the envelope on traditional runway presentations, Michele also made sustainability a priority. He began by eliminating the use of fur as a way to reduce its environmental footprint. This year, he launched a collection called Off The Grid, which is made of organic, recycled, and bio-based materials.
He has also partnered with celebrities and VIPs like Jared Leto, Billie Eilish, Florence Welch, and rockers Maneskin. He recently collaborated with Harry Styles on a collaborative collection entitled Ha HaHa, which will hit stores this month.
During his tenure at Gucci, Michele cultivated an intimate network of collaborators. He partnered with Jared Leto, Dakota Johnson, and William Shatner; he designed for Billie Eilish, Florence Welch, the rockers Maneskin, and most recently, Harry Styles.
Michele’s design aesthetic has been described as “bookish, chic,” and has drawn a younger generation of customers to the Gucci brand. In an industry that has become crowded with repeating patterns, his boldness and idiosyncratic ideas have kept the Italian house afloat.
While he has been a driving force for the brand’s growth since his appointment, his departure leaves the house in a lurch. According to a report in industry bible Women’s Wear Daily, the designer failed to meet a request from Kering chairman Francois-Henri Pinault to “initiate a strong design shift.”
Alessandro Michele left the helm of Gucci in November, leaving behind an unanswered question: Who will take his place? The designer had been a fixture at the fashion house since he was appointed in 2015, and his departure leaves an enormous void.
As Creative Director at Gucci, Frida Giannini has shaped the brand’s identity. Her evocative collections are often based on classics from the label’s past, reimagined in her signature colour palette and idiosyncratic style.
Born in Rome, Giannini grew up in a family where fashion was a huge part of her life. Her father was an architect and her mother an art history professor. She studied at the Rome Academy of Costume and Fashion, before working as an apprentice at a small ready-to-wear brand.
She went on to work as design director for leather goods at Fendi in 1997, before being recruited to join the team at Gucci in 2002. She was tasked with designing the Baguette handbag, which became so popular that it caught the attention of Gucci’s creative director Tom Ford.
After two years, she was promoted to the role of head designer for womenswear and menswear at Gucci. Her enviable position at the brand saw her overseeing all aspects of design, store design, and advertising. She was eventually given full creative control of the entire collection.
Her earliest influences included Studio 54’s Anjelica Huston and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, who she described as “one of my muse”. Influenced by the glamour of Fellini, the gender fluidity of David Bowie, and the nostalgia of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Giannini was always at the forefront of celebrating the brand’s heritage.
As a fashion designer, Frida Giannini remained sensitive to the brand’s long-standing clientele, prioritising their needs in each and every collection. She reimagined iconic pieces from the label’s archives, such as the logo-emblazoned bags and classic shoes, and reworked them in her own inimitable style.
One of her signature looks is the blazer with an embroidered floral motif, which she paired with tailored trousers and a strappy heeled sandal. The look was a hit with the brand’s discerning clientele, who often opted for the high-end Italian label over other designers.
Despite her success as Gucci’s chief designer, there are several concerns over Giannini’s creativity. She frequently changes her design inspirations to suit the latest trends, and her designs are hardly original.
In addition to being the former creative director of Gucci, Ford is also a fashion designer and film director. He is best known for his work on several films, including A Single Man (2009) and Nocturnal Animals (2016). He is also a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and has won numerous awards for his work.
In 1994, Tom Ford was named the new creative director at Gucci and began to transform the brand with his signature style. He introduced sensual white dresses with cut-outs and velvet trousers, skinny satin shirts and G-strings that became iconic for the label.
As a result, Gucci became a global powerhouse. Its revenues increased by 87 percent from 1994 to 1995 and it was valued at $15 billion. In addition to its fashion line, the brand also produces a range of beauty products.
It was this that prompted the French conglomerate Pinault PrintempsRedoute to purchase Gucci for $1.3 billion in 1999. After the sale, Domenico De Sole and Ford stepped down from their positions at the company.
During his time at Gucci, Ford helped the label reinvent itself from a niche Italian luxury brand to a global powerhouse. He also played a major role in the company’s acquisition of Yves Saint Laurent.
While working at Gucci, Ford was also responsible for the design and production of ready-to-wear, fragrances, images and advertising campaigns. He also oversaw the design and development of the brand’s stores.
After he left Gucci, Ford started his own fashion label, Tom Ford. Today, he designs men’s and women’s clothing, eyewear, and beauty products for his label.
His collections are sold in over 278 directly operated stores worldwide, as well as in upscale department stores and franchisees. He has also partnered with Marcolin Group to produce and distribute optical frames and sunglasses, and he has a partnership with Estee Lauder to produce the Tom Ford beauty collection.
Ford is a gay, American fashion designer and filmmaker. He was born in Austin, Texas and studied at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Parsons The New School for Design.
Maurizio Gucci is the founder of a renowned luxury fashion brand. His designs are adored by women around the world. He also created the house’s iconic logo, a symbol of two interlinked Gs.
During his early years, he worked closely with his father Rodolfo, who had established a 50-percent stake in Gucci after the death of his predecessor Aldo Gucci. When Rodolfo passed away in 1983, Maurizio inherited his share and started plotting to take over the company.
However, he began to clash with his uncle, who was one of his father’s partners in the business. Maurizio wanted to absorb his uncle’s shares and his uncle countered with a lawsuit claiming that he had forged Rodolfo’s signature to avoid paying an inheritance tax.
While he was battling with his uncle, Maurizio and his wife PatriziaReggiani (Julia Roberts) were engaged in a rocky marriage that ultimately led to divorce. Despite their divorce settlement, Patrizia was still extremely resentful of Maurizio.
As a result, Maurizio and Patrizia developed a complicated relationship that eventually boiled over into murder. Eventually, Maurizio and his wife were shot in front of their office in 1993, killing him.
He and his wife had been together for over a decade, and they had spent time traveling across the globe. They were known for their jetsetting lifestyle and luxurious vacations.
When he inherited his father’s share of Gucci, Maurizio began to fight with his uncle. During this period, he enlisted the help of Harvard-educated lawyer Domenico De Sole, who was an advisor to his father Rodolfo.
The battle between Maurizio and his uncle would ultimately result in the family losing their interest in the brand. Investcorp, a Bahrain-based company, bought Maurizio’s 50 percent stake in 1989 and became the sole owner of Gucci.
In the movie, Maurizio and Patrizia had a baby named Alessandra, who was named after his mother. Maurizio wanted to expand the Gucci business and travel the world with his wife, but he also decided to return home to Italy to take care of his father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.