Long hair and full beards are not what we would normally think of when imagining Gucci creative directors but it appears that the House has taken a gamble with Roman-born Alessandro Michele, and appointed him creative director of the Gucci brand, as of January 2015. He is now in charge of the image Gucci has in terms of a global stage, along with all the collections that will be unveiled in the coming months, hopefully for years on end. Born in 1972, he is a young man with great ambition who has been called the New Romantic by W magazine and praised for his play on quirkiness in the month of December 2015.
Michele’s vision for Gucci is a lot more on the eclectic side and as far away from the sexed up glamour of its previous years as possible. He is interesting and really able to create the buzz, but it appears he has been failing at one thing. Within the past year of his work, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has not been able to rake in the cash investors want to see and his darling Italian accent that gets us every time will not be able to pull him out of this one.
It isn’t that he is unable to create something incredible from turning around a brand; no, on the contrary, Gucci saw what magic he possesses when he was taken on as creative director for Richard Ginori, a Florentine porcelain brand with 280 years of history in September of 2014 and immediately set about turning its image around and really portraying it as a luxury item for the markets that would invest in such pieces, coming up with new collections and an entirely different store template. We were sure this is what he would do with Gucci as well. After all, the 95-year-old fashion brand certainly needs to be revamped as well, but the $3.8 billion revenue has not budged really.
Michele did win the award for Best International Designer at the British Fashion Awards in November though and that should turn into a good ego boost, which hopefully will add fuel to the fire and get this baby going for we like the direction Gucci has taken and the media certainly does so as well.
It is expected that in 2016 the efforts of Gucci’s darling Michele will pay off, accelerating Gucci’s sales and moving more of the top handbags, shoes and clothing pieces that have been favorites for fans for a while now. “We’re seeing a lot of new clients, a lot of new customers — different, younger, more fashion forward— buying the collection, but not losing the previous ones,” Gucci Chief Executive Officer Marco Bizzarri told The Business of Fashion website in November.
18 months definitely seems to be a good benchmark though as both Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent took a similar amount of time to see boosts in sales after their revamps. However, with more than 500 stores to cater to, it might take a few years longer to really get this show on the road for the likes of Gucci.
Photo courtesy of Vogue