There is a before and after Alessandro Michele 

There is a before and after Alessandro Michele 

Have you ever had someone tell you that your name is perfectly aligned with your personality? As if  a construct external to us can succeed in defining us as much as a part of our body or an aspect of  our character. And yet, that's exactly what came to my mind when I thought of writing a piece about  one of the personalities in the fashion scene who has all my admiration more than any other:  Alessandro Michele. You've got my devotion, as quotes the print on one of the t-shirts of the new  Gucci HA HA HA collection born from the partnership with Harry Styles and launched a few days  ago. But, back to us. I was saying precisely that it seems to me that the spirit of Gucci looks so much  like Alessandro Michele and that there is no personality better suited than his to fill his current role  (just as my face screams the name Francesca to everyone I meet on the street). And to think that if  things could have turned out differently.... 

What perhaps few people know is that when Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri decided in 2015 to hand  over the reins of the florentine fashion house's creative direction to the roman designer, Alessandro  Michele was about to light the candles of his thirteenth anniversary at Gucci, where he had been  working in the style office since 2002, strongly desired by Tom Ford. Michele has thus lived through  all the up and downs of the fashion house, from the "Fordian" splendor, which at the time lifted the  fortunes of a Gucci with one foot in the grave (House of Gucci teaches), to the less-than-florid decade  signed by Frida Giannini, which quickly plunged the brand into anonymity. 

At the time of the events, despite his rapid rise in the company (in fact he was promoted as Associate  Director in 2011 alongside Giannini), Michele was ready to say goodbye to Gucci. What he didn't  know, however, was that shortly thereafter Francois Henri Pinault, chairman of the Kering holding  company that owns Gucci, would fire Frida Giannini herself and the CEO Patrizio di Marco, who  was promptly replaced by Bizzarri. The latter's mission was to bring Gucci back to the center of the  conversation, and to do so needed a revolution that came from a fresh and at times visionary gaze:  what better adjectives to describe Alessandro Michele's personality? And indeed, Bizzarri's foresight  immediately identified the Roman designer as the worthy heir to Gucci's creative empire. And that  he was up to it, he proved right away, finding himself forced in less than a week to save the launch  of the F/W 2015-2016 collection. Having wiped the slate clean of everything Giannini had made,  even the casting and seating assignments, Michele assembled in very few days a collection that  already possessed the genderless, vintage-esque mood we know so well today. It was immediately  obvious to all eyes that Michele possessed both the qualities and the vision necessary to take the  brand into exciting new chapter of its history. And today, seven years later, we are here to confirm  that.

Alessandro Michele during Gucci’s Fall 2015 Menswear show By Vogue Runway 

The aesthetic that Alessandro Michele devised during these years for Gucci marked a  watershed moment in its history. If Tom Ford's sensual approach and Frida Giannini's  minimalism had become synonymous with a muffled, jet-set aesthetic, Michele decidedly  turned the tables with his baroque, exaggerated, and at times tacky ideal of beauty, but never  out of place and always well thought out. Even just the labels on the clothes bearing the  brand's name clearly highlight this before-and-after: whereas before Michele's arrival they  were black and thin, now the Gucci name is stitched in black and block letters on a milky,  knurled fabric highlighted by a severe dark border. 

In contrast to Giannini, who at the time of her creative direction declared herself openly  horrified by the new trend toward the ugly that was taking hold-and which now holds sway Michele goes on to elaborate a deliberately imperfect vision of fashion, proving himself to be  in constant search of the beautiful even in what is not beautiful, but to which he nonetheless  manages to give, in his own way, a dignity.

Gucci Twinsburg  By 

I personally believe, however, that creativity alone may not be enough if you don't know  how to sell it. And in this, Alessandro Michele shows all his visionary nature by choosing  ad-hoc communication campaigns that pivot on social media and aim at sharing ideas and  thoughts that make the consumer or fan feel closer to the brand. Add to this the strategy of  not falling back on the banal in the choice of his muse, all of whom are characters with  unconventional personalities and often and often spokespeople for inclusive messages: all  of this, as one can well imagine, contributes greatly to building a brand's success and  consolidating it over time. 

Harry Styles in Gucci on Vogue December 2020  By 

Gucci's fashion shows from 2015 to the present, then, are never just drab presentations of  seasonal outfits as ends in themselves, but for the most part, availing themselves of the  strength of communication now known to the brand, conceal messages that make it all more  palatable-and the Twinsburg show during the latest Milan Fashion Week is the latest  commendable example.

Gucci Twinsburg By Vogue Runway 

In short, a passionate dreamer with an eclectic and multifaceted personality, who succeeded  and revolutionized a historical brand to bring it back to its former glory, managing to renovate  it without disregarding its original identity and making us almost forget what the brand was  like before his arrival.