Valentino appoints Alessandro Michele as Creative director
Alessandro Michele. ©Photo: Valentino / Fabio Lovino

Valentino appoints Alessandro Michele as Creative director

Alessandro Michele, former Creative director of Gucci, has been appointed as Valentino's new Creative director, promising to reinterpret the brand's heritage with his unique creative vision.
March 29, 2024
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Valentino has announced Alessandro Michele as its new Creative director. The news came just six days after Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino’s Creative director for an impressive quarter of a century, ended his remarkable tenure. Michele, who previously held the same position at Gucci for seven years, brings a wealth of experience and a distinct creative vision to Valentino. His first collection will be presented during Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2025.

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Michele expressed immense joy and a deep sense of responsibility upon assuming his new role. “It’s an incredible honour. I feel the immense joy and the huge responsibility to join a Maison de Couture that has the word ‘beauty’ carved on a collective story made of distinctive elegance, refinement, and extreme grace,” Michele said in a statement upon his appointment. “My first thought goes to this story: to the richness of its cultural and symbolic heritage, to the sense of wonder it constantly generates, to the very precious identity given with their wildest love by founding fathers, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti. These references always represented an essential source of inspiration for me, and I’m going to praise such influence through my own interpretation and creative vision.”

Valentino appoints Alessandro Michele as Creative director

One of the most exciting aspects of Michele’s new role is the opportunity to design haute couture for the first time. Speaking of the prospect, he said: “I search for words to nominate the joy, to regard it, to really convey what I feel; the smiles that kick from the chest, the bliss of gratitude that lights up the eyes, that precious moment when necessity and beauty reach out and meet. Joy, though, is such a living thing that I’m afraid to hurt it if I dare to speak its name.”

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Alessandro Michele’s appointment as Creative director was overseen by Valentino CEO Jacopo Venturini, who previously worked with Michele at Gucci. Venturini praised Michele’s profound intelligence and wonderful lightness, expressing confidence that the reinterpretation of Valentino’s couture codes combined with Michele’s extraordinary vision will lead to moments of great emotion.

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Chairman of Valentino, described Michele’s appointment as ”another pivotal moment for Maison Valentino” and underlined its great ambitions.

François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO of Kering, which owns a 30% stake in Valentino, also expressed his excitement at Michele’s appointment. He said: “I am very happy that Alessandro has been appointed at the creative helm of Valentino and I am certain that with his creativity, culture and versatile talent, he will be able to interpret masterfully the unique heritage of this magnificent House and make it flourish. I can’t wait to see his passion, imagination and dedication at play in this new chapter for Valentino.”

In a bit of irony, the appointment also reunites Michele with Kering, the huge French luxury company that controls Gucci and who dismissed him in 2022.

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Michele, a graduate of the Accademia di Costume e di Moda in Rome, joined the Gucci design studio in 2002 after a stint as senior accessories designer at Fendi, working under Silvia Venturini Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld. He was appointed “associate” to then-creative director Frida Giannini in 2011, and in 2014 took on the additional responsibility of Creative director of Richard Ginori, the porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in 2013. Michele was officially appointed to Gucci’s top creative role in January 2015, two days after he took his first bow at the end of the brand’s Fall/Winter 2015 men’s show, promoted by then-chairman and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri.

During his tenure at Gucci, Michele reinvented the brand with a quirky, androgynous aesthetic that captivated celebrities and fashion enthusiasts alike.

In July last year, Kering said it had bought a 30 percent stake in Valentino for 1.7 billion euros in cash as part of a broader strategic partnership with Qatari investment fund Mayhoola, which controls the couture brand.

Kering has an option to buy 100 percent of Valentino‘s capital by 2028, while Mayhoola could become a shareholder in Kering.

Mayhoola acquired Valentino in 2012 for a reported €700 million USD, beating off competition from LVMH, Kering, Zegna and even Diesel.

Read more: Valentino cancels menswear and haute couture shows amid Creative director transition