Alessandro Michele Is Valentino’s New Creative Director

The designer famous for his maximalist eccentricity at Gucci will succeed Pierpaolo Piccioli, who exited the house after a 25 year tenure.
Published: April 1, 2024
Alessandro Michele Is Valentino’s New Creative Director

Valentino, your favourite red carpet label, has a new designer at the helm. The couture house has named former Gucci designer Alessandro Michele as its new creative director, succeeding Pierpaolo Piccioli, who announced his departure from the Italian fashion brand last week. Michele described his new gig as a "once in a lifetime opportunity" in a statement posted to Instagram on Thursday afternoon.

Related article: Pierpaolo Piccioli Announces Departure From Maison Valentino

"I feel immense joy and enormous responsibility in entering a Maison de Couture that has engraved the word 'beauty' in a collective story made of research and extreme grace," he wrote.

"My first thought goes to this story: to the richness of its cultural and symbolic heritage, to the sense of wonder that it has been able to constantly generate, to the very precious identity that its founding fathers, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, gave it with wild love. These are references that have always been an indisputable source of inspiration for me and to which I intend to pay tribute by re-reading them through my creative vision."

Related article: 10 Best Looks From Valentino’s Fall/Winter 2024 Collection

Michele is best-known for his time at Gucci, where he ushered in a new era with his signature brand of magpie maximalism. An unknown name when he was appointed the helm in January 2015, Michele’s vision instantly gave Gucci a much-needed creative jolt; under his watch, sales exploded, with Gucci quickly soaring to become one of the most in-demand brands.

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Shoppers lusted after fur-lined loafers and classic GG monogram bags embellished with gold-thread bees and painted flowers. A-listers from Beyoncé to Jared Leto wore the label both on and off the red carpet.

Michele used his platform to spearhead a more inclusive, values-driven idea of luxury, weighing in on issues like gun control and LGBTQ+ rights at a time when the industry mostly distanced itself from political issues. He was also a prolific collaborator, teaming with the likes of Harry Styles and Daniel ‘Dapper Dan’ Day, who became a long-time Gucci partner after an Internet storm accusing Gucci of appropriating Day brought him and Michele together.

Ever since Michele exited Gucci in November 2022, speculation has swirled around his next move. The designer will start at Valentino on Tuesday, the house confirmed, with the SS25 collection set to be his first for the brand.

Alessandro Michele Is Valentino’s New Creative Director

The appointment comes days after Valentino announced long-time designer Piccioli would exit the house after a 25 year tenure. In a heartfelt statement, Piccioli reflected on his time with the storied brand.

"Not all stories have a beginning or an end, some live a kind of eternal present that shines so bright that it won’t produce any shadows," his statement read. "Everything existed and exists thanks to the people I met, with whom I worked, with whom I shared dreams and created beauty, with whom I built something that belongs to all, and that remains immutable and tangible. This heritage of love, dreams, beauty and humanity, I carry it with me, today and forever."

This article was first seen on ELLE UK.

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