Italian fashion designer Alessandro Michele has stepped down from luxury fashion brand Gucci after spending 20 long years with the brand.
The announcement was made via French luxury group Kering, which owns Gucci and other brands. The company announced the 49-year-old’s departure on November 23, 2022. Michele has served as Gucci’s creative director since 2015.
In a statement, Kering wrote:
“[Alessandro Michele] played a fundamental role in making the brand what it is today through its avant-garde creativity, while remaining faithful to the recognized codes of the House.”
Kering is also the parent company of brands such as Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Brioni, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, DoDo, Boucheron, Qeelin, Kering Eyewear and Pomellato. However, Gucci rakes in two-thirds of the profits and is the most profitable brand under the French group’s umbrella.
Alessandro Michele’s net worth explored
Born on November 25, 1972, Alessandro Michele is from Rome, Italy. According to Market Realist, his current net worth is estimated at $10 million.
Michele was first hired by Tom Ford and worked under Frida Giannini. In 2015, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri moved from head of accessories to creative director, which came as a shock to the fashion industry.
However, Alessandro quickly proved his worth and talent as Gucci experienced strong growth as a luxury brand. After his first show in fall 2015, it was established that Alessandro Michele would be heading in a more eclectic and eccentric direction with Gucci.
According to the Business of Fashion, under Michele’s leadership from 2015 to 2019, Gucci’s revenue nearly tripled and profits quadrupled. Quarterly growth rates sometimes approached 50%. This year, Gucci will close with annual sales of $10.3 billion.
Alessandro Michele’s work was a fusion of vintage Gucci signatures and modern aesthetics.
His work had a more fluid approach to the genre, as well as extensive colors, textures and prints, which appealed to a younger generation in China, Europe and the United States. Loafers with plush linings and horsebit hardware, as well as shoulder bags with the double G monogram, quickly went viral.
Upon Michele’s exit from the company, Gucci Chairman and CEO Marco Bizzarri said he was “lucky” to have the opportunity to meet Michele by the end of 2014. He added that since then they have worked together as a company. “has charted its course successfully” over the past eight years.
Marco praised Michele for her commitment to Gucci and her vision, dedication and unconditional love for the “unique house during her tenure as Creative Director”.
In 2020, Gucci was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and its revenues fell by 22%. Since then, competing fashion brands like Dior, Hermès and Louis Vuitton have bounced back on track, unlike Gucci, which has seen slow growth.
In October 2021, it was reported that sales rose 3.8% in the third quarter, below analysts’ forecasts.
Some experts attributed the reason for Gucci’s downfall to Alessandro’s lack of novelty in designs combined with the aftermath of the pandemic.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Bernstein analyst Luca Solca said the brand was suffering from “brand fatigue”. He said the brand faced it because “Alessandro Michele has been doing the same thing for seven years.” Solca added that if the company wanted to reaccelerate, it needed to “open a new chapter” instead of going mainstream or becoming timeless.
As of this writing, Alessandro Michele’s successor has not been announced but he posted a lengthy statement of gratitude on his Instagram.