Gucci’s new creative director, the unknown Alessandro Michele, is a lot like the woman he champions: daring, curiously compelling—and with a streak of mystery and eccentricity.
When Alessandro Michele was appointed the new creative director of Gucci at the beginning of this year, the fashion firmament expressed a certain surprise at the positioning of a relative unknown at the helm of the storied billion-dollar Italian luxury brand. No one, however, was more surprised than the 42-year-old Michele himself. With the quirky, long-haired looks of a Merovingian king and a personal style that runs to flower-sprigged Lisa Corti hippie blouses, neckerchiefs that he scissors from lengths of Indian silks, and fistfuls of antique rings, Michele could not be further removed from the sleekly controlled understatement of his predecessor Frida Giannini, who left the company abruptly in January with her partner, then–Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco.
“I wasn’t even on the list,” Michele says, referring to the presumed roster of high-profile industry talents whose names had been bandied about for the coveted job.