Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, known for his androgynous looks, famous collaborations and distinctively bold style, bids farewell to the brand.

November came with major changes in the global fashion scene. Raf Simons announced his decision to close his eponymous brand after 27 years, Balenciaga suddenly decided to suspend its Twitter account, Tom Ford sold his brand to Estée Lauder at a record price, and Alessandro Michele parted ways with Gucci.

Michele replaced Frida Giannini as creative director in February 2015. Previously he was managing the designs of Richard Ginori, the famous porcelain brand owned by Kering, as well as Gucci’s accessory and jewellery collection. During his time at the Kering Group, Michele worked with Tom Ford and Frida Giannini, and created a bold design approach that pushes colours and boundaries. During his eight years as creative director, he pioneered Gucci’s transformation into a stage show, thanks to names such as the brand faces of Jared Leto, Harry Styles and Billie Eilish, and his androgynous style.

When Michele and Leto created a sensation on the red carpet dressed up as twins, the designer used dozens of real twins in this season’s fashion show as a bold statement. Michele gave the signs that he would push the boundaries of gender in fashion in his first collection for Gucci where he dressed male and female models in identical silk blouses, red lace tops, suits, and shearling slippers. Michele remained focused on this issue during his eight-year adventure. This collection also marked the birth of Gucci’s shearling slippers, which is still one of the best-selling products, almost doubling the brand’s profit margin, and making it appealing to young consumers. After a successful career, the decision to leave the Kering Group suggested that a few signature pieces were not enough to sustain the success of the brand with respect to long-term growth figures. Announced with messages of thanks and good wishes, the major decision is seen as a chance for Gucci to find new energy since the brand’s growth rates fall short of other brands within the luxury fashion group Kering.

Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault was initially criticised when he unexpectedly fired Bottega Veneta creative director Daniel Lee last year, despite the brand’s impressive performance, but the rapid success of his successor Matthieu Blazy changed opinions. Michele reflected his perspective and identity with his work at Gucci and created many iconic pieces for the brand, so the decision to dismiss him is also questioned. There is little to do but to wait and see who Pinault will appoint as his successor and whether will be right this time.