Hazine

28.09.2015 - Katherine Koniecki

Designer

Alessandro Michele

REVIVAL HOLDS POTENCY AND AS SUCH ALESSANDRO MICHELE’S REIGN AS GUCCI’S NEW CREATIVE DIRECTOR HAS BEEN SYNERGETICALLY TIMED WITH THE HOUSE’S REBRAND TO BRING A SHIFT TO THE HINGES OF THE ESTABLISHMENT.

In as much as six months into his newly appointed role following former Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, Alessandro Michele’s influence certainly merits acclaim for a rock solid vision right from day one. An even greater feat has been to take Gucci to the next level through a full brand makeover and in letting go of Gucci’s bombshell image set by Tom Ford, Michele has already greatly influenced the brand’s image with the allure of intelligent and subtle seduction.

VISION FOREMOST

The surest sign of change took place with Michele’s image direction of Gucci’s Pre-Fall 2015 campaign. Appointed Creative Director on January 1 2015, his involvement with the house has spanned twelve years in various areas from overseeing leather goods, shoes, jewelry and homewares. In his role as Giannini’s associate, he would often be responsible for taking over the creative direction while she was away. The call for a new Creative Director at Gucci was a transition in the house’s cards with which Michele took as an opportunity to revive the Gucci woman. He called in photographer Glen Luchford to instate the vision through campaign images which compared to season’s past stripped away the glamazon insignia with which the industry had been seduced under Tom Ford’s former lead.

Seduction, however, has not been led astray. What Michele has done is revamp this facet far beyond its original codes. Contemporary seduction is perhaps the additive, one which includes intelligence and restraint to be important elements in the brand’s new image direction. His ease up on overt sexiness leaves much material to play with, especially in the staged day- to-day campaign scenarios of his models on the street or on the train. Subtext has reinstated romance and Michele has successfully brought out a fresh expression for the present day Gucci woman.

LINES OF CONTRADICTION

Androgyny has been the element most often instilled to blur the lines and Michele has successfully engaged this additive as a means of bringing his mood board to life. He has been quoted as saying that he loves confusion. His desk is most often strewn with images, pictures, flowers, scents, vintage fabrics and food along with random surprises which allow his thoughts to flow. It is upon this influential array that he has built his new home.

The chasm between past and future has been the starting point from which Alessandro Michele has launched the new Gucci story. Designing out of his office in Rome, Michele says that staying away from fashion when he works is paramount to the development of multiple collections at one time. Working amidst history’s marks is a poignant part to his thought process and the Gucci space in which he designs exudes a sense of past life amidst the original frescoes which adorn the walls of his office. Michele’s first menswear collection was produced in five days and it is perhaps that focus through with which he is steering Gucci’s vantage point into exciting new directions.

LABOUR OF LOVE

With the slip of romance back into the Gucci house, Michele himself exudes an imagination enamored by his personal loves - some from the past, which ease him to dream about the future. He is a collector of jewels from his family and travels which serve him with a testament to the past in deep respect. Like all individuals who lead the story, dedication is foremost and Michele makes it clear down to his well-studied personal uniform of t-shirts and jeans. He shares a deep involvement in his new role and beyond his way of life, it has become his love affair. 

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Short facts

Trademark

He has revamped every element of the Gucci brand from the campaign images to the collections. His minimalistic, real-life image direction is one of a subdued narrative whereby he creates scenes that catch his protagonist in mid-thought or mid-action. A reinstated romance is Alessandro Michele’s golden mark.

Distinctiveness

Rather than using the leverage of Gucci’s already established jet-set sexy put forth by his predecessors Tom Ford and Frida Giannini, Alessandro Michele has taken a fresh direction with the Gucci woman. Sexiness and seduction have been laced with restraint and intelligence to reflect the contemporary woman and mark a bold new departure for the Gucci brand.

Anecdote

There is talk that Madonna has enlisted Alessandro Michele to direct the wardrobe for her current Rebel Heart tour.

Alessandro Michele in Gucci at a dinner hosted by François-Henri Pinault on Michele's honor.

Timeline

1973 - Born

Alessandro Michele is born in Rome.

1992 - Accademia

Alessandro Michele studies at Academia Costume & Moda in Rome under the joint direction of costume and fashion design.

2001 - Fendi

Alessandro Michele joins Fendi as Senior Accessories Designer before LVMH bought a stake in the company and a year later Michele moves to Gucci.

2003 - Gucci Family

Alessandro Michele joins the Gucci family as accessories designer. His steady ascent with the company has granted him due time to become familiar with the ins and outs of the team and company structure. He has also taken over the task of directing the design team in the absence of Frida Giannini.

2011 - New Associate

Alessandro Michele becomes Frida Giannini’s associate in May, during which time he leads the house’s design teams in her absence.

2014 - Porcelain Additives

Gucci acquires the porcelain brand Richard Ginori and appoints Alessandro Michele as the brand’s Creative Director.

2015 - Revival

A new brand direction has been announced at Gucci. In sync with the changing of hands of the holding company’s CEO, it was announced that January 1, 2015 would see Alessandro Michele as the new creative director of Gucci. Shortly after his start he accompanied Georgia May Jagger to the Met Ball for which he designed her custom dress for the theme: China through the looking glass. His work thus far has been met with praise from the fashion press and his clear cut direction for Gucci has excitement in the air for collections to come.

Photo:

© Courtesy of Ronan Gallagher and Gucci

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