Sabato De Sarno is the creative director at Gucci, since May 2023, where he is tasked with reinvigorating Kering’s flagship brand.
De Sarno worked in design roles at Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, before joining Valentino in 2009, where he eventually rose to the role of fashion director, overseeing both men's and women's ready-to-wear collections. As the right hand of designer Pierpaolo Piccioli , De Sarno became a fixture at the brand's events but remained relatively unknown to the fashion-consuming public. He showed his debut collection during Milan Fashion Week in September 2023.
The stakes for De Sarno's revamp of the brand are high: Gucci is Italy's biggest fashion brand, and the principal engine of sales and profits for owner Kering. While Gucci enjoyed explosive growth in the 2010s under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele – another relative unknown at the time of his appointment — interest in Michele’s maximalist approach cooled during the pandemic, leading sales to plateau.
De Sarno has been charged with offering a compelling fashion vision to revive growth at Gucci, while simultaneously helping the brand to reassert its timeless appeal. The company is expected to put more emphasis on classic designs like its bamboo-handle designs from 1947 or 1961's Jackie bag (rechristened for former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, once one of the brand's most prominent clients).