Alessandro Michele, the whole story of the well-known Roman designer
From his beginnings to his 7 years as Gucci's creative director: let's get to know the renowned designer and his bond with Florence better
"There are times when paths part 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'. It is with these words written in a post on Instagram, published at the same time as the official statement was released, that Alessandro Michele says goodbye to Gucci, of which he was creative director since 2015.
Growing up in Rome with his father an Alitalia technician and his mother working in the film industry until she decided to devote herself entirely to her family, Alessandro Michele studied at the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome, initially with the dream of becoming a set designer.
In 1994, he left the capital to work for Les Copains, an Italian fashion knitwear company based in Bologna. In the late 1990s, he was recruited by Fendi, where he worked alongside Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. In 2002, Tom Ford, who was creative director of Gucci at the time, noticed Alessandro's skills and invited him to work in the design office in London, where he initially worked on accessories. In 2006 he was promoted to senior designer and in 2011 became associate director of the new creative director Frida Giannini, with whom he worked side by side until 2015.
In 2014, Michele became creative director of Richard Ginori, the historic Florentine porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in 2013. In January 2015, he took over from Frida Giannini and became creative director of Gucci. The maison's revolution thanks to Alessandro immediately begins to make itself felt. Alessandro reintroduces the iconic double G logo and in 2016, for the opening of the Gucci Museum in Florence, he curates two rooms dedicated to Tom Ford's collections.
He continued his career at Gucci collecting one success after another. In 2017, he turned the fashion spotlight on Palazzo Pitti with the highly anticipated Gucci Cruise 2018 fashion show-event. An exceptional location that decisively strengthened the bond between Alessandro, the maison and Florence and hosted pearl nets, embroidered and decorated dresses and jewellery with an antique feel. The whole Gucci world was in the collection and Alessandro continued to amaze.
For the 100th anniversary of the famous Florentine fashion house, Alessandro Michele wanted to interpret, in line with his creative philosophy, the Gucci Garden exhibition space in Piazza della Signoria as a new container in which to contaminate the suggestions of Gucci's imagery with the avant-garde in fashion, cinema, music, art and food, with the Gucci Osteria bistro designed and curated by Massimo Bottura and led by chef Karime Lopez. Gucci Garden also hosted an extraordinary interactive exhibition that reproduced the most imaginative advertising campaigns created under the guidance of the Roman designer.
In 2019, Alessandro also launched Gucci Beauty and the brand's first high jewellery line. In July 2021, still in Florence, Alessandro breathed new life into the Gucci Archive in Oltrano at Palazzo Settimani. It was here that Gucci opened its first workshop in 1953 and after years of work and restoration entrusted to local workers, it now houses its historical archive with the entire history of the maison. The project of this monumental archiving work is due to Alessandro himself.
Finally, again thanks to Alessandro's flair and all-round vision of the brand, Gucci Giardino 25, Gucci's café & cocktail bar was born in Piazza della Signoria last February and has already become a landmark in the city for breakfast, lunch and aperitifs.