Breaking news before the weekend: Valentino has named former Gucci designer Alessandro Michele its creative director. Only a week after designer Pierpaolo Piccioli exited the Roman couture house after 25 years, including 8 years as its sole creative director.

The brand will not show menswear or haute couture in June. Michele’s first show for the brand will take place during Paris Fashion Week in September.

«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 graceMichele said in a statement.

Gucci S/S 2016 designed by Alessandro Michele

Rumors were that Michele would head to LVMH, so the news come a little unexpected. Valentino is owned by Mayhoola, the fashion group backed by the Qatari royal family that also owns Balmain and Pal ZileriLast year, Kering acquired 30 percent of Valentino for €1.7 billion – implying a valuation worth of €5 billion – as part of a broader partnership with Mayhoola. The agreement gave Kering the option to acquire 100 percent of Valentino «no later than 2028». The former Gucci designer – a brand that also belongs to Kering – is a is known for its maximalist aesthetic that helped triple sales at the megabrand.

The designer will work once more with chief executive Jacopo Venturini, who previously led Gucci’s merchandising efforts alongside Michele and then-CEO Marco Bizzarri before joining Valentino.

«The reinterpretation of the maison’s couture codes and the heritage created by Mr. Valentino Garavani, combined with Alessandro’s extraordinary vision, will bring us moments of great emotion and will translate into irresistibly desirable objectsVenturini said.

Kering chairman François-Henri Pinault added in a statement: «With his creativity, culture and versatile talent, Alessandro Michele will be able to interpret masterfully the unique heritage of this magnificent house and make it flourish.»

Valentino S/S 2024 ad campaign

It is an interesting choice and I am really looking forward to seeing how Michele will interpret the House of Valentino, which stands for sophistication, femininity and great tailoring.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
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