The Art director has revolutionized the brand’s identity, making Gucci itself, and the whole world, rediscover its glorious roots.
The frenetic Waltz of fashion once again makes our heads spin.
After Raf Simons’ vertiginous pirouette that definitively closes the brand in his name, the last coup de théâtre belongs to Alessandro Michele who leaves Maison Gucci forever: the last scene, the last unexpected act that closes an eight-year series. Standing ovation, thunderous applause, tears.
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Once again, the creative spark has had to give way – elegantly – to the cold figures of Business, the imperturbable outlook of the Kering group does not indulge in poetic rhetoric, not even when the protagonist, for five consecutive six-month periods, has made the brand turnover over 10 billion euros; then it began to slow down: the 18% growth of the last quarterly report did not convince anyone.
‘There are times when paths separate because of the different perspectives each of us may have. Today ends for me an extraordinary journey, lasting more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals who have looked after and supported it, goes my most heartfelt thanks, my biggest and most emotional hug. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible. To them, then, my most sincere wish: may you continue to feed on your dreams, the subtle and intangible matter that makes life worth living. May you continue to nourish yourselves with poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, blown by the wind of freedom.”
Writes Michele as he takes a bow, towards an audience that cannot be seen, but we imagine is deeply moved.
Does renouncing his creative genius mean that markets always win, that continuity in the world of fashion is not a value and that a brand identity is just a volatile concept, changeable according to profit?
We do not want to think in these terms, and beyond mere calculation, we simply wish to celebrate the dimension of the dream that Alessandro has bestowed in his eight years as Gucci’s artistic director, the outsider’s vision, sometimes naïve, sometimes mischievous of an identity and romantic style that belongs to him and to the people who, like him, believe in beauty.
In this editorial, we look back at some of his most iconic campaigns and collections, which have defined Gucci’s most authentic identity in recent years, instilling a profound imprinting that is difficult to forget (and overcome).