Italian designer Sabato De Sarno has been chosen to replace Alessandro Michele as the creative director of Gucci, less than two months after Michele’s abrupt departure.
When Michele announced his departure from the label in November, it sent shockwaves through the fashion industry. His bold designs were typically highly floral and fun, and he was widely recognized for revitalizing the brand. The decision doubled earnings to €10 billion ($10.8 billion), though that was still well below industry leaders Louis Vuitton and Dior.
Michele spent twenty years with the company, seven of them as the brand’s head of creativity.
“With Sabato De Sarno at the creative helm, we are certain that the House will continue both to impact fashion and culture,” said Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering.
“I am proud to join a House with such an extraordinary history and heritage, that over the years has been able to welcome and cherish values I believe in,” De Sarno said, following an announcement by parent company Kering.
“I am touched and excited to contribute my creative vision for the brand.”
Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering, said: “With Sabato De Sarno at the creative helm, we are confident that the House will continue both to influence fashion and culture”.
De Sarno will be in charge of Gucci’s Design Studio and will report to Marco Bizzarri, the CEO of the fashion business.
His role will be “defining and expressing the House’s creative vision across the women’s, men’s, leather goods, accessories and lifestyle collections,” Bizzarri said.
“I am certain that through Sabato’s deep understanding and appreciation for Gucci’s unique legacy, he will lead our creative teams with a distinctive vision that will help write this exciting next chapter, reinforcing the house’s fashion authority while capitalizing on its rich heritage.”
During Milan Fashion Week in September, de Sarno will debut his first collection for Gucci.
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Who is Sabato De Sarno?
De Sarno, like Michele before his promotion from the in-house team in 2015, is a relative unknown in the wider fashion world because of his work behind the scenes.
He started his career in 2005 at Prada, the Italian fashion house where he was born, before moving on to Dolce & Gabbana. After working in various capacities at Valentino since 2009, he was promoted to fashion director in charge of both the men’s and women’s lines in close collaboration with creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli.
Elizabeth Paton also tweeted about Sabato De Sarno being the new Gucci creative director:
Just in: @Gucci have hired their new creative director. Sabato de Sarno, currently fashion director of men and women’s ready to wear at Valentino, ascends the ranks of one iconic Italian fashion house to take the helm of another. Story to come. pic.twitter.com/JXcgBRY1tL
— Elizabeth Paton (@LizziePaton) January 28, 2023
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