In lieu of the house of Gucci appointing a new director Sabato de Sarno earlier in February,we've been inspired to reflect on the creative directors that have preceded him most recently,Allesandro Michele and how they have helped shape the world of luxury fashion and the Gucci legacy.
In the early 90s,following Gucci's tumultuous period of family feuds,attempted takeovers,looming bankruptcy and dwindling relevance,Gucci was overdue for a rebrand under the new generation leadership that was Maurizio Gucci.Maurizio brought in Bahraini investment company,Investcorp and sold half the Gucci stake.He then three years later,signed over the full ownership of Gucci ending decades of family ownership and control.This led to an era of creative directors taking over creative control of the Italian house.
In 1994,Tom Ford was appointed as the first creative director of the house of Gucci and set off to revolutionise Gucci and fashion as a whole through his collections.Tom Ford's era was famed for it's sleek,sexy and modern silhouettes amassing quite the following in Hollywood and the world of luxury fashion and bringing the brand's glory back.Gucci's new found traction under the creative control of Tom Ford however began attracting new interest from Prada and shortly after, the LVMH group with Bernard Arnault putting up a strong bid for a stake in the house.PPR now known as Kering,swooped in as Gucci's saving grace amidst the endless ownership legal woes against LVMH's forceful takeover and was later awarded control over Gucci.Leadership tensions with the new management and their vision however forced Tom Ford to leave the house after a decade long historic stint with Gucci.Tom Ford's era is to this date revered as the most iconic Gucci era with vintage fashion lovers boasting a high affinity to anything Tom Ford Gucci and the brand's 90s and early 2000s collections.
Tom Ford was succeeded by Frida Gianini,previously a Fendi handbag designer and having been part of the Fendi team famed for the iconic Fendi baguette earlier in the late 90s.Her addition to Tom Ford's team as head of the accessories department later saw her take over the role of creative director for women's wear in 2004 following Ford's exit and shortly after, the men's wear department as well.Her new inception led Gucci away from the famed sleek and sexy silhouettes to a more understated and functional chic look as well as the house's original bold glamour to celebrate the brand's heritage.Gianini was known for reworking some of the brand's classic bags over the years and giving them a fresh take as well as bringing back the flora print.Unfortunately,her era at Gucci was no match to her predecessor's reign and after ten years at the house,Gucci had started losing both it's relevance and revenue forcing Gianini's exit in 2014.
In a mirror of events,Gucci then welcomed the reign of Allesandro Michelle an outgoing assistant to Gianini and head of accessories at the time.Allesandro shortly after,debuted his 2015 men's wear fall collection with a quirky and androgynous take.His creative direction was considered fresh and garnered attention from a younger crowd thus changing the Gucci demographic and putting it back on the forefront of luxury fashion.Under Michelle's era,Gucci was able to grow by over 35 percent in its consecutive quarters to follow.Allesandro Michele's exit in November last year came as a surprise with sources citing rifts with management over the future of the brand.
We'll be on the look out for where Sabato De Sarno's journey as the new creative director takes the ever changing house of Gucci.His highly anticipated collection debuts this September at Milan women's fashion week.