Alessandro Michele & Gucci: the Michele Effect. Fashion Philosophy’s Amy Jackson investigates Gucci’s growing popularity under its Creative Director, Alessandro Michele.
Hailed as the highest selling Italian brand, Gucci is a name that’s always been synonymous with luxury. Whether it be their leather loafers or bamboo-handle tote bag, it’s likely most fashion lovers have a soft spot for at least one classic Gucci item.
When Frida Giannini, the labels beloved creative director of many years was forced to leave the brand due to a decline in sales, Gucci looked to a new designer to pick up the pieces. The decision to appoint unknown designer Alessandro Michele as the new creative director of the brand was a surprising one, especially with such big names as Ricardo Tisci, Christopher Kane and Hedi Slimane being rumoured to take the spotlight. The buzz surrounding Michele’s new role, however, was high, and many believed his unknown stance in the fashion world was one of the reasons for the attention and excitement around his debut collection.
Michele’s first collections reflected a mixture between classic Gucci and a vintage, androgynous spin. The designers debut Womenswear collection was a far cry away from the luxurious Italian glamour of the brands previous collections. An eccentric mix of clashing prints, sheer delicate fabrics and masculine details, paired with gucci logo belts and fur lined loafers gave a breath of fresh air to the brand and a distinctly youthful feel.
The newly found appreciation for all things Gucci has been aptly labelled the Michele Effect. Michele’s vision of a new Gucci, has caused revenue to rise by almost 12 percent in 2015. People who ignored the brand in the past have now been drawn in by playful, colourful garments and their charming wearability. Gucci has ultimately become an it-brand, with the likes of Alexa Chung and Florence Welch being among the many celebrities seen dressed head to toe in the latest designs. Welch, having been recently unveiled as the new face of Gucci watches and jewellery, spoke about Michele’s talent in an interview with Dazed and Confused.
“You really feel like he’s giving you a very personal view on clothes, fashion and the things that he loves. You feel like he is really giving you his heart with his collection, that there’s a story. And his celebration of femininity, masculinity and sexuality are quite different, in a way.”
Michele’s most recent Menswear collection for Summer/Spring 2017, inspired by travel, was just as vibrant and rich in detail as always, never straying away from the famous ‘geek-chic’ element that the designer brought to the table back in 2015. With each collection more exciting than the last, it’s likely that Gucci’s success will only continue to grow in Alessandro Michele’s hands, and the Michele Effect will remain in full swing.
Written by Amy Jackson, featuring ©Gucci (‘Tian’ collection) image.