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Alessandro Michele: Gucci is a love affair for me

Alessandro Michele: Gucci is a love affair for me

Alessandro Michele's first Gucci collection was a love affair for the designer.

The Gucci creative director was confirmed in January (15), not long after Frida Giannini departed the role early after 12 years at the label. Alessandro has been a hit with fashion fans, and luckily things have got easy for the designer since his first collection, when he had just five days to put it together.

"It was like a love affair," Alessandro smiled to of his first line. "I was in love and I'm still in love. If someone gives you the opportunity to express something so beautiful in a very natural way, it's the best thing in the world. I didn't feel the pressure; I was not scared. The only mission was to make something beautiful that came with honesty."

Alessandro has followed in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in fashion at Gucci, including Frida and Tom Ford. Despite leaving the label in 2004, Tom is still synonymous with the Italian fashion house. This is no surprise though, as he helped turn the nearly bankrupt company around to boasting a valuation of $10 billion.

"Tom revived Gucci from an old Italian leather bag brand," Alessandro explained. "He was really about the hedonism of the '90s and I loved that; it was completely contemporary. Frida did it more around the product and she tried to replicate Tom in a certain kind of way. I feel more connected with Tom just because I'm trying to do something that is about my vision."

Alessandro has been spending time in Shanghai recently, which is proving inspirational for his work. Being in East Asia is exciting for the designer, and he's glad he's been able to get back to the Chinese city three years after last visiting.

"There is something in Shanghai that is very exciting and alive - the idea of a city with two different souls, one from today and another from a long time ago is amazing," he smiled.

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