The 49-year-old Italian designer confirmed the news via Instagram on Wednesday, about seven years after he was appointed the label’s creative director.
“There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have,” he wrote. “Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals, who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined.”
Michele began working with Gucci in 2002 under former creative director Tom Ford. He went on to helm Gucci’s handbag designs and was eventually named senior designer of the label’s leather goods. In 2011, Michelle was appointed associate creative director for Frida Giannini, whom he would replace in 2015.
Gucci’s parent company, French luxury group Kering, confirmed Michele’s exit.
“I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014, since then we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years,” Gucci president/CEO Marco Bizzarri said in a statement to Vogue. “I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion, and unconditional love for this unique House during his tenure as Creative Director.”
During his time as creative director, Michele completely transformed Gucci into a much more playful, gender-fluid fashion house. His maximalist designs resonated with a new generation of consumers and have been closely associated with celebrities like Jared Leto, Harry Styles, and Lana Del Rey.
Michele has not confirmed his next move, and Kering has yet to announce his replacement.
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.