Alessandro Michele's appointment as the current creative director of Gucci at the beginning of 2013 caused a stir in the fashion industry because he was relatively unknown before and just rose to the top, being selected as the creative director of the billion-dollar Italian luxury grand company. Alessandro was born in the year 1972 in Rome, with his early years being characterized by an interest in sculpture. His teen years were spent participating in the vivacious youth culture, which influenced his growing concern in street styles, hence being reflected in his designs currently.
His education comprised of attending costume design courses at Romes Academy of Costume and Fashion of which later on, saw him become part of an Italian Knitwear brand, Les Copains. He had the hope of becoming a fashion designer under the inspiration of the frequent visits from the Legendary Piero Tosi, an elite costume, hair, and makeup designer.
However, later on, Michelle left the city for Bologna at the age of 22, to become a knitwear designer for Les Copains. His decision was influenced by his opinion of fashion being a more practical career choice. Three years later, he moved back home to work aside from Silvia Venturini Fendi, who inspired him with her curiosity about everything, thus making fashion fun for him. He is renowned there for helping the firm accomplish outstanding performance with boosted sales on its leather products back in the 1990s.
He is inspired by collections, evident by the precious vintage pieces he possesses. Most of the pieces were retrieved from antique fabrics from his collection. His home depicts his love for antiquity, from the carpets on the floor to the fabrics on the bed
Work Progress and Achievements
He was later hired at Gucci by Tom Ford as a bag designer in 2002. Ever since, Alessandro has been an employee of Gucci and was promoted to an associate designer to Frida Giannini back in 2011 after which, he became promoted to his current seat. According to Marco Bizzarri, the Current Chief Executive Officer, Gucci, Alessandro is stated as the most talented person in that company and is greatly respected by the team. He has vast knowledge about Gucci, more like, knowing it inside and out. He alludes that the values of Gucci are in the veins of Alessandro. Hence he could be the best person who could be able to translate the heritage into appealing designs. That made him the most suitable candidate for the position as the creative director even though he never anticipated such an honor.
Immediately after the promotion, Michelle set out to work, guiding the men's team in a project that saw Gucci redo the men's collection entirely, a move that helped the company gain positive reviews for his intriguing androgyny. He had five days to replace the mens fashion for the 2005 fashion wear collection during which he spent much time on a daily basis working with both the men and womens teams in shifts, a move that saw Bizzarri comment on Michelles abilities stating him as the right person that would see Gucci rise among its competitors in the fashion industry.
The outstanding performance was noticed in under a year into the new position as the creative director. The British Fashion Council awarded Alessandro the 2015 International Designer Award at the British Fashion Awards. The following year, he was again presented the International Award for his innovative role in the global fashion stage, as well as the British GQ Designer of the Year Award.
The Gucci group was established in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence Italy. The company is run by Gucci and his three sons making it a family affair. In 1938 Guccio Gucci opened the first retail shop in Rome. In 1951 they opened another store in Milan followed by another in New York two years later. The brand got a good reception and got a lot of publicity when they designed a flora scarf print for Princess Grace of Monaco. In 1982 Gucci become a public limited company and leadership passed to Rodolfo's son, Maurizio Gucci, who holds 50 percent of the shares. In 1989 the other half of Gucci shares were purchased by Investcorp. Following the death of Aldo Gucci in 1990, Tom Ford an American designer was hired to be the creative director. Mark Lee became his successor in 2015 then Frida Giannini, and later in 2015, Alessandro Michele is appointed the creative director.
Gucci Company and its products were inspired by the rich aesthetic of English nobility when Guccio used to work at London's Savoy Hotel. He introduced this to Italy through exclusive leather goods made and produced by the master craftsmanship of Tuscan artisans. The company provided bags, trunks, gloves, shoes, and belts made of high-quality leather. Later they dove into perfumes and high fashion. During world war two, materials become scarce in Italy making Gucci result in the use of other exotic materials such as bamboo. They managed to innovatively make these handbags hence becoming celebrity favorites carried by Jackie Kennedy, Liz Taylor, Peter Sellers, and Samuel Beckett. This firmly set Gucci as the premier designer house and the most expensive product line to date. The brand expanded to the Far East. It increased and diversified production carrying out significant research on new more luxurious materials and bolder designs living up to the company's legendary quality and craftsmanship.
Partnerships and achievements
Gucci also expanded into the automotive industry signing agreements with companies such as American Motors Corporation (AMC), Cadillac, BMW, Lincoln, and Fiat dealing with the interior design of vehicles. Other partnerships include Tiffany & Company, Huawei which is an electronic company, Grey Goose, Woolmark, Emporio Armani, and Asos. The company has made numerous collaborations with musicals Beyonce, actors, and sports personalities. Gucci is now a multi-billion company with extensive wealth and influence enabling it to carry out charitable works. Gucci has also partnered with UNICEF donating a percentage of their sales towards the United Nations Children's Fund supporting education, healthcare, protection, and clean water programs for orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2013, Gucci launched the "Chime for Change" campaign with works to empower girls and women globally. This campaign has accomplished over two hundred projects in over eighty countries.
Though a successive brand Gucci has faced a multitude of challenges. From the near-collapse in the 1990's economic crisis to the numerous complaints from the public caused by Gucci advertisements. The most famous was in 2003 when they used a model to advertise their brand. The model was at that time viewed to be almost naked with a letter G' engraved on her crotch. The over-sexualization of the brand made it be banned worldwide by the Advertising Standards Authority. Despite such events, the name remains widely popular among the wealthy and enjoys huge profits from sales.
"Inside the House of Gucci: Meet the New Creative Director." Vogue. Ed. Hamish Bowles. N.p., 23 June 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.vogue.com/article/gucci-alessandro-michele-creative-director-profile
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