The designer’s departure followed tensions between the designer and Kering’s top management, according to a source.
Creative director Alessandro Michele is leaving French luxury goods company Kering’s star label Gucci after seven years, Kering confirmed on Wednesday (Nov 23).
“I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself in this adventure,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering in a statement, referring to the designer’s tenure as “an outstanding moment” in the label’s history.
The designer’s departure, which was first reported by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), citing unnamed sources, followed tensions between the designer and Kering’s top management, a source told Reuters.
Michele said, “Sometimes paths part way because we have different perspectives. Today, an extraordinary journey ends for me in a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion,” she said.
Michele is credited with bringing Gucci’s popularity back through her flamboyant and gender-fluid designs.
Michele’s departure coincides with the key holiday season and the January fashion shows.
With six collections planned for next year, Gucci will return to a full fashion schedule after taking a break during the pandemic.
The label did not name a successor to the designer on Wednesday, but said the label’s “design office will continue to steer the House’s direction” until a new creative organization is announced.
After Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) reported Michele’s exit, Kering shares opened up 2%. The shares later gave up gains, but closed up 0.6%.
Since the start of the year, the shares have dropped by around 24 percent, compared to LVMH’s drop of around 4 percent.
It may be time for a change after seven years in charge of Gucci’s creative engine, and institutional investors are beginning to agree that a new approach is necessary to reignite the brand.
With his long hair and beard, Michele, 49, is instantly recognisable on the red carpet, wearing elaborate brocade tuxedos.