The new Creative Director for Gucci: Sabato De Sarno. Image: Riccardo Raspa.

A new era at Gucci is now on its way with the announcement of Sabato de Sarno as the Italian brand’s new Creative Director over the weekend.

de Sarno steps into the role after the surprise announcement that the brand was parting ways with former Creative Director Alessandro Michele effective immediately in November of 2022.

Michele, who had replaced Frida Giannini in 2015, had driven Gucci to record profits with his eccentric and eclectic vision for the brand. Adopting an androgynous freak-chic aesthetic, Gucci by Michele regularly topped Lyst’s most influential brands and became a red carpet favourite for celebrities including Harry Styles, Jessica Chastain and Dakota Johnson.

Gucci Men’s Fall Winter 2023. Image: Getty.

But things move fast in the world of luxury fashion. According to reports, Gucci began to suffer brand fatigue and those further up the food chain at Kering expressed concern at this slow down. The writing was on the wall when fellow Kering stablemate Saint Laurent outperformed Gucci in 2022 and discussions with Michele about potentially changing direction failed to land.

Thus the arrival of Sabato de Sarno…

Prior to his new role at Gucci, de Sarno was Fashion Director at fellow Italian house Valentino after beginning his career at Prada and a stint at Dolce & Gabbana. But for the most part, and strikingly similarly to Michele when he was appointed, de Sarno comes with a relatively clean slate as far as reputation goes.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 06: Harry Styles and Alessandro Michele attend The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

In the official press release, de Sarno stated that he is “deeply honoured to take on the role as Creative Director of Gucci. 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. I am touched and excited to contribute my creative vision for the brand.”

In a statement released by Kering, it’s been confirmed that de Sarno will present his debut runway collection at Milan Women’s Fashion Week in September 2023, the Spring 2024 collections.