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Gucci Confirms Alessandro Michele Exit

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MILAN – Gucci and parent company Kering on Wednesday evening said Alessandro Michele would be exiting the brand, relinquishing his role as creative director. This confirms a WWD report from Tuesday.

“I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014, since then we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years,” said Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri in a statement. “I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion and unconditional love for this unique house during his tenure as creative director.”

François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said: “The road that Gucci and Alessandro walked together over the past years is unique and will remain as an outstanding moment in the history of the House. I am grateful to Alessandro for bringing so much of himself in this adventure. His passion, his imagination, his ingenuity and his culture put Gucci center stage, where its place is. I wish him a great next chapter in his creative journey.”

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Michele, who was appointed to the top creative role in January 2015, said, “there are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have. Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than 20 years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period, Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible. To them goes my most sincerest wish: may you continue to cultivate your dreams, the subtle and intangible matter that makes life worth living. May you continue to nourish yourselves with poetic and inclusive imagery, remaining faithful to your values. May you always live by your passions, propelled by the wind of freedom.”

Now the question remains on who could be succeeding Michele, who engineered the brand’s turnaround with his unique style. Gucci, in the statement issued late Wednesday evening, said the company’s design office “will continue to carry the direction of the house forward until a new creative organization will be announced.”

One source wondered if Remo Macco, a Gucci veteran who was recently appointed studio design director, could be in the wings. He has been tasked with offering more commercial products to balance Michele’s aesthetics.

“There has been an increasingly strong divide between the show team and the merchandising and commercial studio,” said the source, adding that Macco has acted as “a filter between all the directors of the different categories and Michele,” as Gucci has increased the number of capsule collections and special editions.

Another potential candidate could be Davide Renne, also a Gucci veteran.

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Another sign of a sharper focus on boosting the top line and a change of direction may be seen in the appointment last spring of former Roger Vivier brand manager Maria Cristina Lomanto. She was named  executive vice president, brand general manager, a new role for the Italian luxury company. Lomanto was tasked with focusing on coordinating collection and retail merchandising, visual merchandising, beauty and eyewear licensing and retail training, reporting to Bizzarri.

Zoning in on historic codes, iconic handbags and craftsmanship was also touted by Pinault, amplified and added to the mix for a “blend of heritage and innovation,” as the executive commented on the group’s third-quarter performance.

In 2021, Gucci revenues tallied 9.73 billion euros, just shy of its oft-stated goal of 10 billion euros.

An internal promotion path is not new at parent company Kering, and it’s not the first time Pinault has shaken up one of Kering’s key brands. Michele himself, handpicked by Bizzarri, was promoted from his role of “associate” to then-creative director Frida Giannini, in January 2015. He had joined the Gucci design studio in 2002 following a stint as senior accessories designer at Fendi. Giannini brought him to Gucci and he was named her “associate” in 2011. In 2014 he took on the additional responsibility of creative director of Richard Ginori, the porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in 2013.

Last November, in a surprise move, Pinault ousted Daniel Lee from Bottega Veneta, despite the designer’s strong performance at the brand and much critical success. Lee, who is now creative director at Burberry, was succeeded at Bottega Veneta by Matthieu Blazy, previously the brand’s ready to wear design director.

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Blazy in two seasons has rapidly put his mark on the brand, taking it back to its artisanal roots.

As reported, sources say that Michele was asked “to initiate a strong design shift” to light the fire under Gucci, but this request was apparently not met by the designer, whose quirky aesthetic is very specific. Michele has helped boost Gucci’s influence in fashion, and his gender-fluid and romantic spirit has left its mark on a slew of other designers, catering to a younger and more diverse customer, but, according to one source, “Pinault has been trying to recover the uber luxury consumer.”

Michele has reinvented Gucci with a completely new androgynous style that toppled Giannini’s sophisticated jet-set lifestyle image. Giannini’s tenure as creative director at the brand lasted 10 years, while her predecessor Tom Ford engineered the first Gucci turnaround and stayed on for almost eight years.

It is unclear what the future holds for Michele, who has expressed his passion for cinematography – much like Ford – but one source speculated the designer “could be receiving a phone call from Pinault’s arch rival Bernard Arnault any time soon.”

On Wednesday morning, commenting on the potential change at Gucci, Luca Solca, senior research analyst global luxury goods at Bernstein, said this was “very good news” and that, “in order to reaccelerate, Gucci doesn’t need to move to the mainstream or to become timeless. It needs to open a new creative chapter. This, in all likelihood, can be only done with new creative energy and talent.” Without mincing words, he noted, “the sooner Alessandro goes, the better.”

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Solca’s opinion is that “Gucci is suffering from brand fatigue” as Michele “has been doing more of the same for seven years. Consumers who bought a lot early (the Chinese) got bored first. This is not surprising.” He credited Kering for its ability to reinvent its brands time and again, and concluded that Gucci “has enough scale to be able to make itself heard, the moment it has something new to say, that is.” He also noted that Kering is trading at a discount to peers due to the slowdown at Gucci.

On the other hand, Jefferies equity analyst Flavio Cereda wrote last month that he did “not share the view that Gucci, as a very cyclical brand, is broken in its current guise and needs a total reset to reverse trends: we believe brand equity is very strong, as are capabilities (on- and off-line), supply chain and track record.”

The news come ahead of Gucci’s return to Milan’s Men’s Fashion Week in January.

Kering last month, reported that its cash cow brand continued to underperform versus the group’s other brands, although organic sales picked up pace in the third quarter. Revenues at the Italian label totaled 2.6 billion euros, up 9 percent on a like-for-like basis, following a 4 percent rise in the second quarter.

That was slightly below a consensus of analyst estimates, which called for a 10 percent increase in comparable sales at the maker of Dionysus handbags and horsebit loafers. By comparison, organic sales at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s key fashion and leather goods division rose 22 percent year-over-year in the third quarter.

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Marsèll Makes Handbag Push

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Footwear label Marsèll is committing to the handbag and leather goods categories.

For spring 2023, the brand is introducing its first full-fledged range after it tested the waters for the past 20 years with small capsules and a few styles regularly flanking the core shoe business.

The brand installed a creative team and beefed up its manufacturing capacity with new hires of dedicated artisans.

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Marco Cima, cofounder and creative director, characterized it as a “natural progression built from our know-how in leather production.”

“We have always wanted to telegraph our aesthetics…and methodology via different product categories, projects and objects.…We believe we are an alternative brand representing and drawing customers looking for minimalist and no-logo designs,” Cima explained.

Centered on timeless styles with a minimalist bent in line with the footwear category, the spring range comprises doctor bags and irregularly shaped pouches as well as tiny tote bags with handles knotted to the bag’s body, all coming in a muted color palette of earth tones and pastels.

The bags retail for between 700 euros and 2,000 euros.

A bag from Marsèll spring 2023.

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A bag from the Marsèll spring 2023 collection.



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Shania Twain Channels Animal Inspiration in Leopard-print Bra Cups and Velvet Skirt at People’s Choice Awards 2022 Red Carpet

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Shania Twain arrived on the red carpet for the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, wearing an animal-inspired dress.

For this year’s ceremony, the singer wore a dress with a leopard-print silk hood and cape shawl, leopard-print bra cups, sheer long sleeves, a sheer bodice and a floor-length black velvet skirt custom designed by Rodarte. The singer’s only notable accessory was her wedding ring, leaving her outfit to speak for itself.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Shania Twain attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Shania Twain attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Twain worked with stylist Chris Horan to create her look for this year’s awards ceremony. Horan also works with Christina Aguilera, Debby Ryan and Charli XCX.

Twain went for a matte coral pink lip, pink blush and heavy eye makeup, with statement eyelashes. Her eyes were adorned with pink and blue eye shadow. For hair, she had it highlighted bright pink, coordinating with her makeup.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Shania Twain attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Shania Twain attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Twain received this year’s People’s Choice Award for Music Icon, presented to her by her friend, actor Billy Porter.

During the awards show, she took to the stage to perform in a custom Diesel bright red coat-style dress with pants and a zip-up corset underneath designed by Glenn Martens. Twain accessorized the look with coordinating gloves, a cowboy hat and sunglasses.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: 2022 PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS -- Pictured: Shania Twain attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar on December 6, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. --  (Photo by Chris Polk/E! Entertainment/NBC via Getty Images)

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Shania Twain in one of her performance outfits at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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The People’s Choice Awards is a show where fans honor a year of outstanding pop culture entertainment in TV, film, acting and music, with winners chosen by the public. This year’s award show was hosted by comedian Kenan Thompson, and also awarded Lizzo as the People’s Champion Award and Ryan Reynolds with the People’s Icon award.



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Noah Schnapp Suits Up in Head-to-toe Fendi at People’s Choice Awards 2022

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Noah Schnapp arrived on the red carpet for the 2022 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, suited up for an award-winning night.

For the event, where the actor took home the People’s Choice Award for Male TV Star of 2022 for his work on Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” he wore a double-breasted navy suit, a white turtleneck, black lace-up shoes and a crossbody bag — all from Fendi.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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Schnapp worked with Phillipe Uter to create his look for the event. Uter has also worked with Roselyn Sanchez, Taylor Mack and Meagan Good.

Schnapp is familiar with wearing brands under the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton umbrella on the red carpet. In May, the actor attended the season four premiere of “Stranger Things” in a full Dior look featuring a white shirt, white pants and a blush pink jacket.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 06: Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People's Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on December 06, 2022 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images )

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Noah Schnapp attends the 2022 People’s Choice Awards.

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“I really had the desire of dressing Noah in a brand that we never used before. Something trendy, cool but still luxury. Noah is between the teenager and adult life so I couldn’t go too classic nor too young. That is why I decided to collaborate with Dior on this appearance,” Uter said to WWD at the premiere.

Schnapp also attended Fendi’s spring 2023 menswear runway show during Milan Fashion Week, where he sat front row and sported a full Fendi look.

In addition to “Stranger Things,” this year Schnapp also starred in the mystery film “The Tutor.”

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The People’s Choice Awards is an annual awards show where fans honor a year of outstanding pop culture entertainment, with winners chosen by the public. This year’s award show was hosted by comedian Kenan Thompson and awarded Lizzo as the People’s Champion Award and Ryan Reynolds with the People’s Icon award.



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