Alessandro Michele is leaving his role as creative director of Gucci.
The French group Kering, owner of Gucci among others, announced its departure on Wednesday. Michele has held the position since 2015.
In a statement, Kering Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault thanked Michèle for her seven-year term. “His passion, imagination, ingenuity and culture put Gucci center stage where it belongs,” he said.
Kering did not reveal who will succeed Michele, who left with immediate effect.
Championed by Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, Michele’s appointment from head of accessories to creative director in 2015 came as a shock to the fashion industry.
However, he soon helped drive a period of strong growth and rekindled the buzz around the luxury Italian fashion house.
Gucci’s revenue nearly tripled during his tenure, from €3.9 billion in 2015 to €9.7 billion in 2021. At times, quarterly growth rates approached 50%.
With an appreciation for the Italian house’s history, Michele fused historic Gucci signatures with a more modern aesthetic.
Its gender-neutral approach (since 2017, Gucci presents men’s and women’s collections together) and use of an eclectic cacophony of prints, colors and textures has attracted a new generation of young consumers in Europe, the United States and in China.
Fur-lined loafers adorned with horse bits and shoulder bags adorned with the double G logo quickly went viral.
During his reign, he attracted legions of celebrity fans, including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Dakota Johnson and Jodie Turner-Smith.
However, since 2017, the pace of revenue growth has steadily declined.
In October 2021, it was revealed that sales rose 3.8% in the third quarter, below analysts’ expectations.
Insiders blamed brand fatigue alongside the effect of the pandemic, especially in key markets such as Asia.
Compared to other luxury rivals including LVMH and Hermès, Kering stock underperformed.
Gucci’s efforts to combat this decline included scaling back its annual show schedule, scrapping its annual cruise and pre-fall collections.
The fashion house has also embarked on a series of collaborations with unexpected brands like Adidas and a “Hacker Project” with Balenciaga.
In 2017, Harry Styles was named an ambassador for Gucci. He’s appeared in several campaigns and just released a collaborative collection this month called Ha Ha Ha.