Get the Latest News Updates

Valentino Names Former Gucci Designer Alessandro Michele as Creative Director

29 March 2024

Designer Alessandro Michele acknowledges the applause of the audience at the end of Gucci’s Fall/Winter 2020/2021 collection

Valentino Taps Former Gucci Star Designer Alessandro Michele as Creative Director

Italian luxury fashion house Valentino has announced the appointment of Alessandro Michele, the former creative force behind Gucci, as its new creative director. Michele, who led Gucci’s creative endeavors for eight years until November 2022, will succeed Pierpaolo Piccioli, whose departure was disclosed last week.

Commencing his new role on April 2, Michele will be stationed in Rome, as confirmed by the Milan-based company in a statement released on Thursday (March 28).

The unexpected move to enlist Michele, aged 51, to lead Valentino comes amid shifts in the luxury fashion landscape. Kering SA, the parent company of Gucci, parted ways with Michele following a period where Gucci’s sales lagged behind some of its key competitors such as Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

Notably, last year Qatar’s Mayhoola sold a 30% stake in Valentino to Kering, with an option for Kering to acquire the remaining shares by 2028. Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, expressed optimism about Michele’s appointment, stating, “I am certain that with his creativity, culture, and versatile talent, he will be able to interpret masterfully the unique heritage of this magnificent house and make it flourish.”

The connection between Valentino and Gucci is not new. In a previous instance, Kering appointed former Valentino fashion director Sabato De Sarno as its new designer. Additionally, Jacopo Venturini, CEO of Valentino, previously served as head of merchandising at Gucci during Michele’s tenure.

Michele is renowned for his flamboyant and bohemian-chic designs during his time at Gucci. He also fostered collaborations with other brands, including Adidas AG, North Face Inc., and Balenciaga, another brand under Kering.

Founded in Italy in 1960 by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino’s iconic red carpet designs have been worn by celebrities such as Zendaya and Florence Pugh. Notably, Jacqueline Kennedy wore a Valentino ivory lace dress for her wedding to Aristotle Onassis in 1968.