Alessandro Michele is The New Creative Director of Valentino

2 min read
Alessandro Michele has been named Valentino’s new creative director. (Valentino)

Valentino has named Alessandro Michele its new creative director. Michele, previously at Gucci, will unveil his first collection for the brand during Paris Fashion Week in September.

“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,” Michele said in a statement.

The announcement follows last week’s news of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s departure from Valentino after 25 years, including 8 as its sole creative director. Shortly after, the brand revealed that it would not present menswear or haute couture in June.

Michele, who was appointed Gucci’s head in 2015, previously contributed behind the scenes in Gucci’s design studio alongside then-CEO Marco Bizzarri. Under Michele’s leadership, Gucci saw a period of significant growth, with sales nearly tripling before the pandemic’s impact.

Since 2012, Maison Valentino has been under the ownership of Mayhoola for Investments, a fashion conglomerate backed by the Qatari royal family, which also holds Balmain and Pal Zileri.

In this new chapter at Valentino, Michele reunites with CEO Jacopo Venturini. The two previously collaborated at Gucci, where Venturini, a notable figure behind the scenes, was instrumental in the brand’s strategic direction.

“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 objects,” Venturini said.

Michele will work from his hometown of Rome, where Valentino was founded in 1960. However, the primary office operations will remain in Milan. Michele celebrated for his adept merchandising skills and probably plans to diversify Valentino’s collection, moving beyond a strong dependence on iconic elements like metal studs and “Vlogo” hardware.

However, his inclination towards an kitsch aesthetic might not align with Valentino’s traditional perception of feminine beauty. Given that Valentino is an Haute Couture house with pricing on the very high-end. Blending Michele’s history of accessible collaborations into Valentino’s esteemed reputation poses an intriguing challenge.