Alessandro Michele by Fabio Lovino

Valentino has officially announced the appointment of Alessandro Michele as the new creative director of the esteemed couture house in Rome. Michele takes the reins from Pierpaolo Piccioli, who bid farewell to the brand after an illustrious 25-year tenure. Having departed from his previous role as creative director of Gucci in November 2022, Michele’s arrival marks a significant shift in Valentino’s creative direction.

According to a report by WWD, market sources indicated Piccioli’s departure from the Rome-based couture house, alongside speculations of Michele negotiating his contract to assume the role. 

Michele is set to commence his role on Tuesday, as confirmed by an internal statement. Anticipation mounts as his inaugural collection is slated for the Spring of 2025 (Paris fashion Week in September), promising a fresh chapter for Valentino under his creative guidance.

The ex-Gucci designer is renowned as a fashion narrative weaver, whose penchant for maximalist aesthetics significantly boosted sales at the Kering-owned powerhouse, tripling its revenue.

The revelation addresses a longstanding inquiry within the fashion realm: where would Alessandro Michele, a prominent figure in the industry, land following his departure from Gucci? Contrary to widespread speculation suggesting a potential move to LVMH, Michele’s destination is Mayhoola for Investments, the fashion conglomerate backed by the Qatari royal family, overseeing brands like Balmain and Pal Zileri.

Alessandro Michele stated in response to his new appointment.

“It’s an incredible honour for me to be welcomed at Maison Valentino. 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.

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.

My heartfelt gratitude, of course, goes to Rachid Mohamed Rachid who gave me this unique and irreplicable occasion. His trust is a gift of the soul that I will try to cherish with my work and total devotion.

My thankfulness to Jacopo Venturini is boundless, limitless. Getting back to work with him is a marvellous dream come true. Jacopo is not only an extraordinary professional, able to combine pragmatism and strategic vision, competence and sensibility. He’s most of all a man who is able to celebrate falling in love with life every day, through his passions and his care.

Today, 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.

May my bow, wide open arms, speak for itself and salute in this early spring the regeneration of life and the promise of new blooming.

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