We covered the Gucci creative director move relatively closely. First, there were the rumblings that Saint Laurent savior Hedi Slimane would take over at the house. Then, whispers had Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci taking the helm or a dramatic Tom Ford return. In the end, none of that shit happened. Instead, Gucci opted for longtime employee Alessandro Michele who worked with ousted creative director Frida Giannini. Fashion houses are notoriously secretive and hate us, the media, so nearly all of this happened behind closed doors. But The New York Times got some juicy info from behind the curtain that documents the ousting and what was to follow.
The piece charts the rise of Giannini from Gucci accessories designer to full-on creative direction of the men's and women's collections. The other half of the ousting, Patrizio di Marco, CEO of Gucci, was Giannini's romantic partner and the two kept their relationship on the DL for nearly two years before copping to. When the two had a daughter in 2012, Gucci's growth slowed to a fucking halt. Rocky sales figures plagued the company until this past December when Giannini was let go. For some unknown reason, leadership wanted to keep her on to finish designing the men's and women's collections for F/W 2015. That didn't end up happening as leadership saw that it was a fucking stupid idea and hired Michele instead, who completely redesigned the men's collection and is presenting the women's line this week in Milan. So, Michele's first shows were supposed to be Giannini's last. Talk about poetic justice.
Firings and hirings are a messy lot. They never go smoothly or without someone catching quite a few feelings of the butthurt variety, but di Marco's farewell memo to the Gucci staff was the stuff of legend, filled with references to people within the company and close to him plotting for his demise, while also referencing Steve Jobs' famous "crazy ones" quote and calling Gucci his "unfinished cathedral." The piece is a fun read and you should probably check it out because there's a whole lot more I can't aggregate without the Times suing us.