Alessandro Michele

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Alessandro Michele
Michele in 2015
Born (1972-11-25) 25 November 1972 (age 51)
Rome, Italy
OccupationFashion designer
Years active1994–present
TitleCreative director of Gucci
PartnerGiovanni Attili

Alessandro Michele (Italian pronunciation: [miˈkɛːle]; born 25 November 1972) is an Italian fashion designer who most recently served as the creative director of Gucci, the Italian fashion luxury house where he had been working since 2002.[1] Known for his maximalist designs, Alessandro Michele revived Gucci's popularity, most notably with a Geek-Chic aesthetic. He had been responsible for all of Gucci's collections and global brand image[2] from January 2015 until he stepped down from the role in November 2022. [3]


Early life[edit]

Alessandro Michele grew up in Rome. His father was an Alitalia technician, and his mother an assistant to a movie executive.[4][5]

In the early 1990s, Alessandro Michele completed his studies of fashion design at the Accademia di Costume e di Moda in Rome, where he learned to design both theatrical costumes and fashion wear.[6]


Two ensembles by Michele for Gucci on display during The Met's exhibit Camp: Notes on Fashion

In 1994, Alessandro Michele left Rome to work in Les Copains, an Italian knitwear firm based in Bologna. Three years later, he joined Silvia Venturini Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld at luxury house Fendi.[7][8] He worked with Frida Giannini and was appointed senior accessories designer, in charge of the brand’s leather goods.[1][9]

In 2002, Tom Ford, Gucci's creative director from 1994 to 2004, invited Alessandro Michele to work at the firm's London-based design office. He was originally in charge of the company’s handbag designs.[10] In 2006, Alessandro Michele was named senior designer of Gucci leather goods, and in 2011, he was promoted associate creative director to Frida Giannini,[11] creative director of Gucci since 2005.[10] In 2014, the Italian designer also became creative director of Richard Ginori, the Florentine porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in June 2013.[12]

Creative director of Gucci[edit]

UK Musician Harry Styles wearing a custom Gucci suit at One Direction's final X-Factor performance in 2015.

In January 2015, Marco Bizzarri asked Alessandro Michele to act as interim creative designer for the January menswear show, giving him a week to reshape Frida Giannini's original designs.[13] Michele accepted the challenge and introduced a “new Gucci: nonconformist, romantic, intellectual”.[14] Two days later, Kering appointed Alessandro Michele creative director of Gucci, with the goal to reinvent Gucci’s props amid deflating sales.[15] A month later, Michele introduced a "sophisticated, intellectual and androgynous feel" for Gucci during his first women's collection show.[2]

A custom blue Gucci dress created by Alessandro Michele for Harry Styles was on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2022 for an exhibit called "Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear."

While creating iconic products, such as the Dionysus handbag,[16] Alessandro Michele also reintroduced Gucci classics including the double-G logo.[17] He moved away from Tom Ford's "Sexy Gucci" props[18] and feminized Gucci’s menswear ("you can be more masculine showing your femininity").[19] He reused the "My Body My Choice" slogan, the embroidered uterus design, and the "22.05.1978" date (the date on which abortion became protected by Italian courts),[20] transforming the brand into a postgender proposition.[21] He added a dramatic Renaissance component to Gucci’s spirit,[22] replaced the modernist furniture of the Palazzo Alberini-Cicciaporci (Gucci’s design headquarters in Rome) with antiques,[23] and chose buildings of historic significance for his theatrical shows.[24]

In 2016, for the Gucci Museum in Florence, Alessandro Michele curated two additional rooms dedicated to Tom Ford's collections.[25] Since the 2018 opening of the Gucci Wooster Bookstore in New York, Michele seasonally contributes to the curation of the shop’s items.[26] In October 2018, he co-curated with Maurizio Cattelan the 2-month Gucci art exhibition "The Artist is Present" in Shanghai.[27]

In 2019, Alessandro Michele revived Gucci's Beauty collection,[28] and Gucci launched its first fine jewelry collection, which he designed.[29]


Alessandro Michele’s father was also an avid artist who often took his son out to the museums. His family encouraged his interest in fashion at an early age. As a teenager, he read British magazines and was a fan of London’s post-punk and New Romantic street style.[4][5] His designs have been described as eclectic, flamboyant and maximalist, almost psychedelic, and drawn from several influences that span from cinema and theatrics to post-punk, crochet and glamour.[30][31]

Alessandro Michele refers to himself as an art archaeologist - historicist of garments - rather than a creative director, considering that clothes are meaningless without a historic context.[24] In his fashion Renaissance process, he explores how adornment and embellishment was used over the centuries, bringing a kaleidoscopic mix of times and cultures that resonates with Gilles Deleuze's idea of "assemblage".[32]

Personal life[edit]

Michele is openly gay. He lives in Rome with his longtime partner, professor of urban planning, Giovanni Attili.[33]

Prizes and awards[edit]

  • 2015: International Fashion Designer Of The Year Award at the British Council Fashion Awards[34]
  • 2016: Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards[35][36]
  • 2016 International Accessories Designer of the Year Award at the British Council Fashion Awards[34][37]
  • 2016: GQ Men Of The Year Award for best designer[38]
  • 2017: Listed in Hypebeast's HB100[39]
  • 2017: Time 100 Most Influential People[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zargani, Luisa; Foley, Bridget (21 January 2015). "Gucci Confirms Alessandro Michele as Creative Director". WWD. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  2. ^ a b Mesco, Manuela (25 February 2015). "Fashion Executive Sets About Fixing Gucci". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  3. ^ Paton, Elizabeth. "Major Gucci Shake-Up as Designer Steps Down". New York Times. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  4. ^ a b Polan, Brenda; Tredre, Roger (2020). The great fashion designers (Second ed.). London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-350-09161-0. OCLC 1132342390.
  5. ^ a b Mead, Rebecca (12 September 2016). "Gucci's Renaissance Man". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  6. ^ "Alessandro Michele". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  7. ^ Bowles, Hamish (June 23, 2015). "Inside the House of Gucci: Meet the New Creative Director". Vogue. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Lisa (February 20, 2019). "'Being with him was like being with a very clever 14-year-old': Gucci's Alessandro Michele pays tribute to Karl Lagerfeld". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  9. ^ Piskorz, Juliana (May 3, 2019). "Met Gala 2019: Everything you need to know about Alessandro Michele". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  10. ^ a b Frankel, Susannah (February 15, 2018). ""People Need Reality" Alessandro Michele on his Gucci". AnOther. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  11. ^ "Gucci: A Renaissance Brought to Life by Alessandro Michele". Volupt Art. 17 November 2018.
  12. ^ "So, Who is Alessandro Michele?". The Fashion Law. January 21, 2015. Archived from the original on 2020-07-19. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  13. ^ Amed, Imran (2015-09-22). "Reinventing Gucci". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  14. ^ Tim Blanks, Fall 2015 menswear Gucci, Vogue, 19 January jj2015
  15. ^ Marriott, Hannah (21 January 2015). "Gucci names accessories chief Alessandro Michele as creative director". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  16. ^ "The Dionysus Bag: An Icon For a New Century". July 26, 2017.
  17. ^ Sarah Royce-Greensill, Gucci's Alessandro Michele and the rebirth of the logo, The Telegraph, 10 May 2016
  18. ^ Michael Erbert, Sven Michaelsen, The Book of Gucci According to Alessandro Michele, 032c, 10 September 2018
  19. ^ Yotka, Steff (29 January 2020). "Alessandro Michele And Fashion's Genderless Revolution". GQ. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  20. ^ Brara, Noor (30 May 2019). "Gucci's Alessandro Michele Took a Stand in Favor of a Woman's Right to Choose in His New Show at Rome's Capitoline Museums". Artnet. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  21. ^ Murray, Georgia (19 February 2020). "Gucci Just Turned The Backstage Area Into The Catwalk". Refinery 29. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  22. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (24 February 2016). "Gucci's 70 Shades of Renaissance". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  23. ^ Mead, Rebecca (12 September 2016). "Gucci's Renaissance Man". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  24. ^ a b Stoppard, Lou (30 August 2019). "Alessandro Michele — National treasures". Financial Times. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  25. ^ Solomatina, Ira. "Why Tom Ford's Tenure at Gucci Was so Memorable". Sleek. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  26. ^ Petrarca, Emilia (20 November 2018). "Gucci's Latest Drop? Books!". The Cut. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  27. ^ Lai, Cherry (22 October 2018). "The Artist Is Present: Inside Gucci's Art Exhibition In Shanghai". Tatler Hong Kong. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  28. ^ Pike, Naomi (May 3, 2019). "Gucci To Relaunch Make-Up Collection Under The Creative Direction Of Alessandro Michele". Vogue. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  29. ^ Blanc, Emeline (July 5, 2019). "Gucci unveils its first fine jewelry collection". Vogue Paris. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  30. ^ Brenda Polan, Roger Tredre, The Great Fashion Designers: From Chanel to McQueen, the names that made fashion history, Bloomsbury Publishing, 9 January 2020
  31. ^ Anders Christian Madsen, Gucci's poetry of luxury, I-D Vice, 18 April 2016
  32. ^ Rebecca Mead, Gucci's renaissance man, The New Yorker, 12 September 2016
  33. ^ Cooper, Leah Faye (September 7, 2021). "Gucci's Alessandro Michele Is Obsessed With the Present". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2021-09-07.
  34. ^ a b Armstrong, Lisa (November 25, 2015). "Gucci's Alessandro Michele crowned International Fashion Designer of the Year". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  35. ^ Alessandro Michele, Gucci
  36. ^ Cope, Rebecca (2016-06-07). "The CFDA Fashion Awards 2016 winners". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  37. ^ Conlon, Scarlett (December 5, 2016). "The Fashion Awards 2016: The Winners". Vogue. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  38. ^ "All the winners at GQ Men of the Year 2016". Gucci. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  39. ^ "Alessandro Michele". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2018-02-13.
  40. ^ "Alessandro Michele: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. Retrieved 2020-09-23.

External links[edit]