Alessandro Michele Is Exiting Gucci

Breaking news! Today, GUCCI announced that Alessandro Michele is exiting the House after nearly eight years with the brand. The Roman designer was hired by Tom Ford and worked than after Frida Giannini before taking over the helmet himself. With his maximalist vision, he changed the look of fashion and brought colorful looks to the runway. Unexpected color combinations, animals such as tigers, lions and bees were his favorites.

The Hacker Project, 2021

Michele had a flair for rule-breaking hookups. There was the F/W 2021 Hacker Project with Demna of Balenciaga, a Kering «colleague» and then a year later he collaborated with adidas collab. However, the brand was hit during corona and numbers haven’t been on the rise recently. GUCCI seems to suffer from brand fatigue.

Gucci x adidas, 2022

In a statement GUCCI CEO Marco Bizzarri said, «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. 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.»

S/S 2023 Welcome to Twinsburg show.

Alessandro Michele 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 twenty 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.»

Personally speaking, I felt that GUCCI has become kind of arrogant lately. Its loyalty towards people who have been supporting the brand since a very long time has kind of disappeared. Let’s hope that the there will be a new prosperity in all ways, also on a human level as I love the brand a lot!

Thank you, Alessandro, for all the magic!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht / David Biedert Photography
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Daniel Lee Replaces Riccardo Tisci at Burberry

Breaking news! Burberry has appointed Daniel Lee as its new chief creative officer, replacing Riccardo Tisci, who is stepping down after presenting his final runway show for the British luxury brand on Monday. The end of Tisci’s near five-year tenure follows the arrival of Jonathan Akeroyd as Burberry’s new chief executive earlier this year who is supposed to accelerate growth.

Riccardo Tisci with me

Tisci was the creative force behind former chief executive Marco Gobbetti‘s strategy to elevate the position of the 166-year-old brand in the luxury sector. His designs, many of which featured a new Thomas Burberry «TB» monogram, attracted a younger and more diverse community of customers to the brand.

Tisci’s last show for Burberry

Lee, who was creative director at Italy’s Bottega Veneta for three years until 2021, and who has previously worked at Celine, Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan, was a «new kid on the block» when he was named creative director of Kering’s Bottega Veneta at age 32 in 2018.

A funny coincidence is that Lee was born in Yorkshire where Burberry manufactures its famous trench coats, and he said that «he was honoured to join the fashion house and build on Tisci’s legacy.» During a three-year tenure at the house known for its leather-weaving techniques and logo-free products, Lee created must-have bags and shoes fashionistas around the globe raved about. He used ultra-touchable materials, unexpected proportions and bold colors to create products that rapidly turned around Bottega Veneta’s sales, which has been slipping for several years. However, after he left Bottega Veneta, rumors were that he was horrible to work with and treated his colleagues not in a nice way. Of course, this is only a rumor and nobody officially addressed it.

Some of Lee’s designs for Bottega Veneta

The brand stated in a press release: «Bottega Veneta and Daniel Lee are announcing their joint decision to end their collaboration.» «I am very grateful to Daniel for having brought his passion and energy to Bottega Veneta,» said Kering’s CEO Francois-Henri Pinault in the release. «His singular vision made the House’s heritage relevant for today and put it back to the center of the fashion scene.»

No matter what Lee does or did, his designs are amazing and this is what counts. I cannot wait to see what his vision is for Burberry!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Bottega Veneta, © Burberry and © Sandra Bauknecht
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Balenci-adidas

Balenciaga presented his off-schedule Resort 2023 show on Sunday in the Big Apple. It took place at The New York Stock Exchange – a place the fashion crowd normally doesn’t have access to – and began with the ringing of the opening bell.

The French brand embarked on the unusual timing for a company first, under Demna’s direction, to hold a show in NYC. The invitation was a fat stack of fake 100s. And one thing is for sure, you need a good income to get those new pieces that will surely become a hit as Balenciaga revealed his collaboration with adidas in the last part off the show. Latex bodysuits fully covered models’ faces and send all focus on Balenci-adidas. Classic adidas pieces like Three Stripes tracksuits, hoodies, jerseys, and tees get the Balenciaga treatment, boasting updated oversized silhouettes.

The Balenciaga Triple S sneaker comes with the famous adidas stripes, either in white/black and blue/white colorways for CHF 975. However, for me the best pieces of the collection and something that will make its way into Sandra’s Closet.

The tight classic mini dress costs CHF 55 the adidas way (left) and CHF 1390 with the Balenciaga treatment (right). Sorry guys, but this is ridiculous. There I am out!

Balenciaga x adidas is now available only for one week until May 29 on Balenciaga’s webstore. So, act fast, but save some money as Gucci x adidas will officially drop in June. Gucci and Balenciaga both belong to Kering and they obviously like the German manufacturer of athletic shoes and apparel.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Balenciaga
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Bottega Veneta Has a New Designer

This week, Kering announced that Tomas Maier, who has been creative director of Bottega Veneta since 2001, is leaving the Italian brand.

Tomas Maier with Lauren Hutton

The reason? Kering has been dissatisfied for quite some time as Bottega Veneta’s sales have struggled and younger consumers are not interested enough in the brand that focuses extremely on craftsmanship. Compared to another label of the luxury conglomerate, Gucci, Bottega Veneta has been all about understated luxury and still lives up to its motto from the 1970s: «When Your Own Initials Are Enough.»

On the S/S 2017 runway: Gigi Hadid arm in arm with Lauren Hutton

Lately, Tomas Maier made headlines with the model casting for his S/S 2017 runway show. He sent out 73-year-old Lauren Hutton together with 21-year-old Gigi Hadid, confirming that beauty has no age. The same year, the brand reissued the iconic intrecciato clutch worn by Hutton in the 1980 film American Gigolo.

Lauren Hutton carries a Bottega Veneta clutch in American Gigolo.

Reissued: Lauren 1980 intrecciato leather clutch by Bottega Veneta
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In a statement, Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, thanked Tomas for his work in the past 17 years: «It is largely due to Tomas’ high-level creative demands that Bottega Veneta became the house it is today. He put it back on the luxury scene and made it an undisputed reference. With his creative vision, he magnificently showcased the expertise of the house’s artisansI am deeply grateful to him and I personally thank him for the work he accomplished, and for the exceptional success he helped to achieve.»

The new creative director has already been named. It is former Céline director of ready-to-wear, Daniel Lee. Until now, Lee has maintained a low profile at a number of historic design houses. He graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2011, worked at Maison Margiela and Balenciaga, before heading to Céline under Phoebe Philo.

I think that is an interesting choice. Kering has a track record of hiring lesser-known designers to top houses, which worked amazingly in the case of Alessandro Michele and Gucci.

TO SHOP BOTTEGA VENETA ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta, via Grazia Magazine

Alexander Wang Steps Down from Balenciaga

Wang_Balenciaga_Steps_down

In the beginning of July, rumor had it that Kering, the parent company of BALENCIAGAicon, will not confirm Alexander Wang’s position as the House’s Creative Director. The designer took over the Balenciaga design department in December 2012 to replace Nicolas Ghesquière that had been hired by Louis Vuitton. Today, it has become official. Alexander Wang will step down after less than three years in the role.

The reason for the split can just be guessed, as it might be hard to grow two labels, Balenciaga and Wang’s successful namesake New York based brand at the same time. It is said that the S/S 2016 collection which will be presented this October during Paris Fashion Week will already be Wang’s last one for Balenciaga.

Rumor has it that Kering is looking for a lesser known designer to replace Wang, having seen the success of Alessandro Michele at Gucci.

TO SHOP BALENCIAGA (see products above), PLEASE CLICK HERE.

LoL, Sandra

Photo: © Sandra Bauknecht, Stills: Courtesy of Balenciaga

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New Creative Director of Gucci Revealed

Gucci New Creative Director

Last December, GUCCI iconrevealed the breaking news that their Creative Director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco both stepped down.

Being also a couple in real life – they have one daughter Greta together – they had both joined the Kering group almost at the same time, Di Marco 13 years ago as the CEO of Bottega Veneta before moving to Gucci in 2008 and Giannini 12 years ago, when she left Fendi for Gucci, at this time still under the creative direction of Tom Ford.

Marco BizzarriMarco Bizzari

Marco Bizzarri has been appointed the new CEO of Gucci, having joined Stella McCartney in 2005 before moving to Bottega Veneta in 2009. Seems like Bottega Veneta is the “stepping stone” for Gucci CEOs.

Alessandro_Michele_portrait__1739_low_Courtesy of Ronan Gallagher for Gu...Alessandro Michele

Yesterday, the new Creative Director of GUCCI has been officially appointed and it is probably not someone you would have thought of: Alessandro Michele, a longtime Gucci employee, is responsible for all of the brand’s collections and global image.

Born in Rome in 1972, Alessandro studied at the prestigious Academy of Costume & Fashion in Rome. He forged his early design career inside Fendi where he was Senior Accessories Designer. A rising talent, he was tapped by Tom Ford in 2002 and moved to Gucci’s London-based Design Office. Over his 12-year tenure inside the Gucci design studio, Alessandro held a variety of roles. In 2006 he was named Leather Goods Design Director and promoted in May 2011 as Associate to then Creative Director Frida Giannini. Passionate about interiors and décor, Alessandro in September 2014 took on the additional role of Creative Director of Richard Ginori—the fine Florentine porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in June 2013. He immediately reimagined the product offering and branding of the 280-year-old brand, repositioning it for the luxury market with new collections and a new store design template.

It was during the Gucci Men’s F/W 2015 runway show where Alessandro first revealed a contemporary new direction for the House. His full vision for Gucci will emerge during the Women’s F/W 2015 runway show. I am wishing him only the best, a great start and of course lots of creative ideas!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Gucci and Indigital