The Italian designer Alessandro Michele is set to leave Gucci, where he has overseen a surge in sales at the fashion powerhouse since 2015 but seen his star fade in recent seasons, according to a report in industry bible Women’s Wear Daily on Wednesday.
Citing “well-placed sources,” the magazine said Michele was quitting after being asked to orchestrate a creative revamp to restore the brand’s luster.
The French conglomerate Kering, which owns the Italian house, declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
With his bookish chic looks and vintage mashups that harkened back to the 1970s and 80s, Michele helped turn the once-flagging house into a white-hot success, drawing in a new generation of fans with his anti-establishment veneer.
Michele also joined a handful of other designers by announcing in 2021 that the number of annual shows would be slashed to just two from five, saying that “clothes should have a longer life” and that his future collections would be “seasonless.”
Sales also got a boost from 2021’s Ridley Scott-directed “House of Gucci” film with Lady Gaga and a host of Hollywood A-listers.
But enthusiasm has begun to wane among industry insiders, according to WWD, with Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault eager for a quick change at the helm.
“Gucci is suffering from brand fatigue and Alessandro Michele has been doing the same thing for the past seven years,” financial analysts at the brokerage firm Bernstein said in a research note to clients.
“Institutional investors appear to agree that a new approach is needed to relaunch the brand,” added analysts at Royal Bank of Canada.