Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele is reportedly set to leave the Italian luxury label.
It comes after Michele failed to “initiate a strong design shift” at the storied fashion house, an anonymous source told WWD.
Another source told the news publication that François-Henri Pinault, the chair and CEO of parent company Kering, is looking for a change of pace at Gucci.
The Florence-based brand said it had no comment on the news when FashionUnited reached out, though WWD’s sources said an official statement is expected to be released as early as Wednesday.
It would mark an important shift at Gucci, one of the world’s biggest luxury heavyweights and the standout performer at Kering.
Michele took the creative helm of the label back in January 2015, and during his tenure has overseen many iconic looks and moments, such as his recent SS23 show at Milan Fashion Week where he sent 68 pairs of identical twins dressed in matching outfits down the runway.
Gucci also regularly finds itself crowned as “the world's hottest brand” according to the quarterly Lyst Index, which rates brands based on a mix of social media mentions, searches, page views, interactions, and sales.
More changes at Kering
Alessandro Michele’s exit would mark the second creative director shift at a Kering brand in the past year.
In November 2021, the French fashion conglomerate announced that Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee would be exiting the label, which it said was a joint decision.
It came as a surprise to the fashion world, as Lee had only been in the role since 2018, and was credited with bringing a new energy to the brand resulting in robust sales growth.
Lee went on to take the creative helm at Burberry, and was succeeded at Bottega Veneta by Matthieu Blazy.
Like much of the luxury industry, Gucci has defied headwinds that have damaged the wider fashion industry as deep-pocketed shoppers continue to splash out despite the uncertain economic backdrop.
In the third quarter of the year, revenue increased 18 percent to 2.581 billion euros, despite Covid restrictions continuing to impact business in its important China market.