Alessandro Michele was announced as Gucci’s new creative director in January 2015. With the strong support of Marco Bizzarri, the label’s president and chief executive, Michele was given free reign to bring his idiosyncratic sense of vintage style to the Italian fashion house, leading to a period of impressive growth at the house. In March 2017, the house reported an “exceptional [financial] performance across the board,” with a record first quarter revenue increase of 51 percent — its strongest in 20 years, and is now aiming for a €10 billion revenue threshold.
Michele was born in Rome, where he grew up with an instinctive appreciation of visual stimuli thanks to his mother’s love of cinema and his father’s interest in sculpture.
After studying costume design at Rome’s Academy of Costume and Fashion, he joined the Italian knitwear brand Les Copains. Then Michele began to work under Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi at Fendi, where in the late 1990s he had notable success in designing leather goods. Tom Ford hired him to design bags for Gucci in 2002, where he has been working ever since, becoming associate designer to Frida Giannini in 2011, before being invited to take up his current post.
His highly original vision was recognised less than a year into his new job by the British Fashion Council, which awarded Michele the 2015 International Designer Award at the British Fashion Awards. In 2016, he was awarded the International Award by the CFDA "for his creative contribution to the international fashion stage", and was the British GQ Designer of the Year Award.
Responsible for all of Gucci’s collections, product categories and the company’s global brand image, Michele's unique understanding and appreciation of the historical codes of the house, combined with his contemporary sensibility, created a compelling new narrative for the brand. Under Michele's direction, the brand has also relaunched Gucci Beauty.
In November 2022, Gucci announced that Michele was set to leave the company. “The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the past years is unique and will remain as an outstanding moment in the history of the house,” said Kering chief François-Henri Pinault. “His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci centre stage.”