Paris—Alessandro Michele, head of accessories at Gucci, was named today as the new creative director for Gucci, according to Kering, the luxurygoods conglomerate that owns the Italian brand.
Michele, 42, replaces his former box, Frida Giannini, who along with her partner and CEO Patrizio di Marco, who were asked to leave at the end of last year.
In a statement, Kering said today that Michele would be given total creative responsibility for all of Gucci’s collections and its brand image.
Newly appointed Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, who started earlier this month, said Michele’s selection was “based upon the contemporary vision he has articulated for the brand.”
Michele began his tenure at Gucci in 2002. By 2011, he became an assistant to Giannini with responsibility for leathergoods, shoes, jewelry and home wares. In September, he was also named creative director of Richard Ginori, the porcelain brand that Gucci bought in 2013.
He is the third accessory designer to take the main creative reins at a major brand, following Giannini herself. She was design director of Gucci accessories under the former creative director, Tom Ford.
“As one of the largest megabrands out there, Gucci has very significant potential in what has become a very competitive world for luxurygoods,” said Luca Solca, a luxury analyst at Exane BNP Paribas. “What Gucci needs is to inject the brand with new ideas and create a new buzz around it,” he wrote. “Handbags and leathergoods are going to very important to bring novelty to the market and to give consumers new reasons to come back to Gucci stores.”
“Alessandro’s talent and his knowledge of the company and the design teams in place will for sure allow him to move quickly and seamlessly in implementing his new creative direction for the collections and the brand,” Bizzarri said.
Born and trained in Rome, Michele is scheduled to introduced his first women’s collection as creative director on Feb. 25 in Milan.