Gucci and Alessandro Michele
We’ve just got to talk about the amazing transformation of one of the most traditional luxury fashion brands in the world - GUCCI - and the far reaching and dramatic ripple effect it is having on the world of fashion today.
Head Gucci Designer, Alessandro Michele supported by Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, has taken what has been known as a very traditional and some would say "boring" luxury fashion house and has steered it into an inspirational and aspirational luxury brand that has had a weighty impact on fashion across the globe.
Alessandro had been working at Gucci for 12 years in the design team when he was appointed to the role of Creative Director a risky move for sure, which sent shockwaves throughout the industry, but his appointment has paid off for Gucci. With a hugely profitable result, delivering double digit profit increases from the last two years of his appointment. To everyone's amazement Alessandro sent his first collection down the runway only 5 days after being in his new role, an unprecedented move for Gucci and luxury brands in general.
Alessandro has brought the emotion back into Gucci, he is compassionate, nurturing, humble, authentic and passionate. Michele, in his resort 2019 Collection has drawn upon religious iconography from previous centuries and is packed with religious motifs and references to heaven and hell. Using history as his inspiration and then effortlessly combining it with modern moral values, such as going “fur free”, has been an ingenious decision for the Gucci brand. Michele has been quoted as saying “Technology is now available that means you don’t have to use fur. The alternatives are so luxurious. There is just no need. Gucci is so visible, so well known: we need to use it in a positive way you don’t need.”
I see this as a deep and reflective shift in the way Gucci sees itself in the world fashion landscape and it has really set the tone of the Gucci brand moving forward. As a Fashion Industry Professional for over 20 years, I can see the effect it is having on other brands and the profound changes filtering through. From Prada’s paper reduction program, to Levi’s taking a serious approach to lowering their impact on the environment through adopting better work practices by reducing water, chemicals and energy in their manufacturing processes. It’s clear that fashion houses like Gucci understand how they can speak to their customers and bring about awareness to global issues.
I think this is an exciting direction for fashion globally, in a time where the use of recycled, repurposed and upcycled fashion is getting noticed. Consumers are rejecting fast fashion and are looking for alternatives.
I think Alessandro Michele is a genius and I’ve never seen a single designer have such an impact on the world of fashion. He is a visionary and not afraid to be disruptive when it comes to designs, prints, fabrics and structure. He has dared to play with what most business would never touch and that is the "brand". I believe Alessandro has well and truly cemented his place in Fashion History as a truly amazing creative that has the world watching his every move.
In the words of a true design genius, "We are not fast fashion. For items with craftmanship, it is worthwhile the wait", says Alessandro Michele. I think Michele has demonstrated in his creative leadership, that if you are willing to push the boundaries of fashion and creativity, the result can be incredibly successful.
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