Fashion News

Valentino names Alessandro Michele as new creative director

The former Gucci creative director will replace Pierpaolo Piccioli at the helm of the Italian luxury fashion house

Michele will start his new role on April 2 and will be based in Rome

Italian fashion house Valentino has named Gucci’s former star designer Alessandro Michele as its new creative director.

Michele, who oversaw Gucci’s creations for eight years until November 2022, is replacing Pierpaolo Piccioli, whose departure was announced last week. He will start his new role on April 2 and will be based in Rome, Valentino said in a statement Thursday.

The 51-year-old’s appointment at Valentino may come as a surprise. Gucci owner Kering parted ways with the designer after sales of the label didn’t keep up with the performance of some of its biggest rivals such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

Last year, Qatar’s Mayhoola sold a 30 per cent stake in Valentino to Kering, with an option for the French company to buy the rest by 2028.

Michele acknowledges the applause of the public after the Gucci Cruise 2018 show at Palazzo Pitti on May 29, 2017 in Florence, Italy

Michele’s fashion at Gucci became recognisable for their flamboyant and bohemian-chic designs. Under his direction, Gucci also collaborated with other brands, notably Adidas and North Face,as well as Balenciaga, another Kering brand.

Valentino, whose red carpet designs have been worn recently by stars including Zendaya and Florence Pugh, was founded in Italy in 1960 by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti and acquired by Mayhoola more than a decade ago.

The brand reported revenue of €1.4 billion in 2022 and €350 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

Piccioli’s recent Valentino collections have created buzz for their elegance and single-colored focus. Two years ago, the label unveiled an autumn and winter collection where all pieces were in bright pink.

During this month’s Paris Fashion Week show, Piccioli unveiled more than 60 looks with models donning only black pieces, with variations between embroidered and sheer lace dresses.