Alessandro Michele's eclectic Gucci customer
Alessandro Michele knows his work can be too eclectic.
The Italian designer was nearly an unknown name before taking over from Frida Giannini at Gucci in 2015, and has been praised for reviving the luxury brand.
Michele has become the go to designer for stars like Florence Welch, Alexa Chung and Georgia May Jagger, and while he knows his myriad approach to design can be too much for some, the designer thinks he encapsulates the Gucci customer perfectly.
“I know my work is sometimes too eclectic. That there is too much going on, but in the end I think she is a very recognisable, this woman,” he told Britain’s The Times newspaper.
“My aesthetic is not just confusion, it is a language.”
So far Michele’s clothes have been a mix of vintage-inspired pieces and bohemian freedom, and he admits he loves the idea of making retro clothes look new again.
“The ideas are the easiest part of my job,” he shrugged. “I never stop. My creativity is really me. It’s my way to live.”
However, Michele found his creativity stifled slightly before he became creative director. He’d spent 12 years at the brand, first as an accessories designer and then as Giannini’s right-hand man.
“It was just a job. I didn’t use my stomach too much because nobody asked me to,” he sighed. “Now I can’t imagine myself in that position. But creativity at that time belonged only in my private life.”
After a meeting with Gucci chief executive Marco Bizzarri, Michele was asked to do a presentation. He trawled through the label’s archives and quickly learnt that the Gucci customer desires the unexpected.
“It was like an exam, a beautiful exam, because I didn’t have anything to lose,” he said of his meeting.
“(Bizzarri) fell in love. It was destiny. We agreed entirely. He really believed, and he understood that it was crazy.”