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Ex-Gucci star Michele named Valentino creative director

Valentino's new designer Alessandro Michele oversaw a major period of growth at Gucci, revitalising the brand known for its green and red stripe
Valentino's new designer Alessandro Michele oversaw a major period of growth at Gucci, revitalising the brand known for its green and red stripe - Copyright TT News Agency/AFP/File Hanna Brunlof WINDELL
Valentino's new designer Alessandro Michele oversaw a major period of growth at Gucci, revitalising the brand known for its green and red stripe - Copyright TT News Agency/AFP/File Hanna Brunlof WINDELL

Italian luxury fashion brand Valentino on Thursday named Alessandro Michele, the former high-flier at Gucci, as its new creative director. 

Speculation had been rife over where the 51-year-old designer would land after departing in November 2022 from Gucci, where he oversaw a period of strong growth. 

Last week, Valentino said its 25-year collaboration with creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli had ended, and on Monday it said it would cancel its upcoming Men’s and Haute Couture fashion shows planned for June. 

Valentino, which is controlled by Qatar investment fund Mayhoola For Investments, was founded in Rome in 1960 by designer Valentino Garavani and his business and life partner Giancarlo Giammetti.

Last year, French luxury group Kering paid 1.7 billion euros for a 30-percent stake, with an option to acquire all share capital. 

“Michele is an exceptional talent and his appointment underlines our great ambitions for Maison Valentino,” Valentino Chairman Rachid Mohamed Rachid said in a statement. 

Francois-Henri Pinault, the chair and chief executive of Kering, said he looked forward to Michele’s “passion, imagination and dedication at play in this new chapter for Valentino”.

At Gucci, Kering’s flagship brand, Michele ushered in a wildly successful colourful and bohemian 1970s aesthetic to the brand with its world famous stripe logo in green and red.

A darling of Hollywood, he dressed pop and film stars such as Harry Styles and Jared Leto while attracting new fans to the fashion house with collaborations with major brands like Adidas, Disney and X Box.

Revenue nearly tripled under his watch, but sales flagged in his final few seasons. Gucci is still struggling, its sales having dropped six percent to 9.9 billion euros in 2023.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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