Rumours, whispers and gossip are a regular occurrence in an industry as fast-moving as fashion, but there was something distinctly different in the air when news of Alessandro Michele’s potential departure from Gucci began circulating.
Earlier this week, WWD reported that its ‘well-placed sources say that creative director Alessandro Michele is exiting the brand’, and that a statement from Gucci‘s parent company Kering was expected soon. With Gucci being one of the fashion industry‘s most iconic brands – and Michele one of its best-loved designers – the news sent ripples throughout the global community.
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And even more so, now that Michele, Gucci’s vastly successful creative director of seven years, has confirmed the rumours himself via a post on Instagram. The Italian-born designer, known for his maximalist style, hypey collabs and countless internet-breaking shows – including, most recently, sending 68 sets of identical twins down the runway – shared a photo of himself taking a bow, accompanied by a heartfelt caption:
‘There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have. Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals, who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace…
‘Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible. To them goes my most sincerest wish: may you continue to cultivate your dreams, the subtle and intangible matter that makes life worth living. May you continue to nourish yourselves with poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, propelled by the wind of freedom’.
Both Marco Bizzarri, Gucci’s president and CEO, and François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, have also confirmed the news separately with their own official statements.
Many questions, however, remain unanswered… What prompted the surprise exit? Who will succeed Michele? And where will the much-loved designer go next? Only time will tell – but in the meantime, the rumours continue even more furiously than before.