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Valentino Confirms Alessandro Michele as Creative Director

MILAN — Valentino has confirmed the arrival of Alessandro Michele as creative director of the Rome-based couture house. He succeeds Pierpaolo Piccioli, who exited the brand on Friday after 25 years. Michele left his role as creative director of Gucci in November 2022.

On March 22, WWD was the first to report that Piccioli was exiting the Rome-based couture house based on information from market sources, who also believed that Michele was negotiating his contract to become his successor.

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MIchele starts Tuesday, according to an internal statement. His first collection will be for spring 2025.

Michele joined the Gucci design studio in 2002 following a stint as senior accessories designer at Fendi. He was appointed “associate” to then-creative director Frida Giannini in 2011, and in 2014 took on the additional responsibility of creative director of Richard Ginori, the porcelain brand acquired by Gucci in 2013. Michele was officially appointed to Gucci’s top creative role in January 2015, two days after he first took a bow at the end of the brand’s men’s fall 2015 show, promoted by then-chairman and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri.

With that seminal show he reinvented Gucci with a completely new, quirky and androgynous aesthetic.

Piccioli’s last fall 2024 all-black collection shown during Paris Fashion Week was his swansong for the brand. On Monday, Valentino said it was sitting out menswear and couture weeks in June, generally shown in Paris.

Piccioli was named sole creative director of Valentino in July 2016, following the departure of Chiuri to join Dior.

Chiuri and Piccioli first worked together at Fendi for 10 years. In 1999, Valentino Garavani selected the designers to boost his brand’s accessories category, which they did, rejuvenating that division. They were promoted to creative directors of accessories at Valentino when Alessandra Facchinetti was assigned the same title for rtw after Garavani retired in 2007. In 2008, they succeeded Facchinetti as creative directors of the brand.

In July of last year, Kering revealed it bought a 30 percent stake in Valentino for 1.7 billion euros in cash as part of a broader strategic partnership with Qatari investment fund Mayhoola, which controls the couture brand.

Kering has an option to buy 100 percent of Valentino’s capital by 2028, while Mayhoola could become a shareholder in Kering. The new luxury partners are expected to jointly explore further opportunities aligned with their respective strategies, including potential investments beyond fashion.

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