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March 20, 2023

Gucci Taps Sabato De Sarno as Creative Director

Gucci Taps Sabato De Sarno as Creative Director

This article originally appeared on Vogue Business. To receive the Vogue Business newsletter, sign up here.

Gucci has found a successor for Alessandro Michele, who left in November 2022 after a seven-year run. Kering and Gucci announced in a joint press release on Saturday that Sabato De Sarno will present his debut runway collection at Milan Women’s Fashion Week in September.

In his new role, De Sarno, who joins from Valentino, will lead the house’s design studio, reporting to Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci, with the responsibility for defining and expressing the house’s creative vision across the women’s, men’s, leather goods, accessories and lifestyle collections.

Following Michele’s exit, the rumour mill went into overdrive with big-name designers circulating. De Sarno, on the other hand, doesn’t have star power. Like Michele when he became Gucci’s creative director, De Sarno has no previous leadership position as creative director.

The 39-year-old Italian designer joins from Valentino, where he was most recently fashion director overseeing both men’s and women’s collections. Before joining Valentino in 2009, he worked at Dolce & Gabbana and Prada. He will start in his new position as soon as he has completed all his obligations in his current role.

Jean Vigneron, consultant at executive search company Egon Zehnder, says: “Kering has a track record of betting on designers who are unknown to the public. Think of Alessandro Michele when he was named Gucci creative and Matthieu Blazy, who was number two at Bottega Veneta before getting the top job. Smaller houses highly benefit from hiring designers who already have a community, while megabrands already have sufficient attractive power. We can assume that the arrival of Sabato De Sarno dovetails with Kering’s strategy for Gucci to elevate the brand and shift to a more classic and formal silhouette.”

A look from Gucci’s SS23 show, Alessandro Michele’s last show as creative director before he left Gucci in November 2022.

Photo: Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

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