FASHION watchers expecting to see Frida Giannini take her final Gucci bow following the label’s autumn/winter 2015 show next month may be disappointed, as it has emerged that the designer may have departed early. Despite announcing her departure with a measured and appreciative release – giving the impression of a very amicable split – senior Gucci figures asked the designer to leave more than a month early, sources close to the house told WWD, although this has not been confirmed by the house.
“The decision [about Giannini’s successor] needs to be made, so that it can have an impact on the upcoming collections and shows,” one source said, by way of explanation about the hastened departure.
On that note, the rumourmill has already begun to swirl with potential replacements: first up, Giannini’s deputy Alessandro Michele. Currently head accessories designer, Michele is an old hand at the Italian label, having joined in 2002.
Far from needing a household name to take charge, Gucci is known for promoting talented creatives, and in fact plucked Giannini from within Tom Ford’s team following his departure in 2004. The possible ascension of Michele underlines Gucci’s commitment to reassert the focus on to accessories, as well as the need for a safe pair of hands in tumultuous times.
“[Michele] knows all the inside mechanisms,” a source told WWD. “With a brand such as Gucci, creativity is tied to industrial development. It’s a very scientific machine, where marketing has its say. It’s creative only up to a certain point. Calling in a designer from outside can bring an added touch of allure, but a designer from the inside may work better in the long run.”