Alessandro Michele Takes the Helm at Maison Valentino

Alessandro Michele Takes the Helm at Maison Valentino “A Masterstroke of Sartorial Resurrection”. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Gucci / Valentino.

1 Alessandro Michele new creative director of Valentino March 2024
Alessandro Michele new creative director of Valentino March 2024 – collection of Gucci Fall Winter 2018-2019

The announcement that Alessandro Michele, the whimsical wizard of Gucci, has been appointed as the Creative Director of Maison Valentino is nothing short of a plot twist worthy of a telenovela climax. The fashion maestro, known for his flamboyant reinterpretations and fearless sartorial statements, promises to STITCH TOGETHER a new chapter for Valentino, which we can only assume will be embroidered with the unexpected.

“We are the Dr. Frankenstein of our lives,” Michele proclaimed, in a statement back there, in his days at Gucci, that sends shivers down the spines of plain black tuxedos everywhere. It’s clear Michele plans to breathe life into the Valentino wardrobe, perhaps with a bolt of lightning for good measure.

“There’s a clinical clarity about what I am doing,” he added, with the precision of a heart surgeon wielding a pair of fabric scissors. Indeed, if fashion were a surgery, Michele’s operating room would be filled with sequins and lace, performing open-heart transformations on the very essence of Valentino. His approach, marrying meticulousness with madness, suggests that the upcoming collections might just redefine what we mean by “very Valentino.”

Is it a mad scientist’s laboratory or the atelier of one of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world?

Ah yes, the legendary stint from 2015 to 2022 when Alessandro Michele graced Gucci with his presence as the creative director, embarking on what can only be described as a chirurgical journey through the looking glass. He’ll forever be etched in the annals of fashion history for his groundbreaking “creative revamp” – a kaleidoscopic vision where body parts weren’t confined to their boring, traditional spots. Why just wear your heart on your sleeve when you can carry your head in your hands, right? The pinnacle of this avant-garde escapade was, without a doubt, the Gucci Fall Winter 2018-2019 collection. Here, he turned the fashion world on its head—quite literally—by transforming models’ heads into the chicest of accessories. Because, in a world of mundane handbags, why not make a statement by strolling down the runway holding your own head?

Maison Valentino has flung open its illustrious doors to none other than Alessandro Michele. Yes, you heard it right. Starting April 2nd, 2024, Rome will not only continue to be the historical heart of an empire but also the pulsating center of Michele’s new mad scientist’s laboratory at Valentino.

“For the last twelve years, as a team, we dedicated our time and resources to develop the Maison Valentino brand and business to become a world class couture house built on the unique heritage and creativity of Mr.Valentino Garavani, representing the best world of elegance and beauty. We have been able to grow it in reputation and size over five folds, while gaining the loyalty and appreciation of our clients.

The appointment of Alessandro Michele marks another pivotal moment for Maison Valentino. Michele is an exceptional talent and his appointment underlines our great ambitions for Maison Valentino. I strongly believe that with his unique creativity and sensibility, he will continue the elevation of the brand’s everlasting heritage and unique Italian Maison de Couture identity.

With Alessandro Michele a new page of excellence and endless beauty is ready to be written in the history of Valentino.”

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Chairman Valentino

2 Alessandro Michele new creative director of Valentino March 2024
Alessandro Michele new creative director of Valentino March 2024 – collection of Gucci Fall Winter 2018-2019

As the architect behind Gucci’s transformation into a brand synonymous with eclectic, off-the-wall elegance, Michele’s move to Valentino promises a future where couture codes are not just adhered to but playfully dissected and pieced back together.

“I am very happy and excited to return to work with Alessandro Michele after years of working together. His talent, creativity, and profound intelligence, always linked to a wonderful lightness, will write another chapter of Maison Valentino.

I am certain that the reinterpretation of Maison’s couture codes and the heritage create byMr. Valentino Garavani, combined with Alessandro’s extraordinary vision, will bring us moments of great emotion and will translate into irresistibly desirable objects.”  

Jacopo Venturini, CEO Valentino

With Rome as his canvas and the world as his stage, Michele’s first collection for Valentino, set to debut at Paris Fashion Week for Spring Summer 2025, is as eagerly anticipated as the next season of your favorite binge-worthy series. Will we see more decapitated accessories? The gouged eyes for the earrings, perhaps? Only time will tell. As per the latest figures available, accessories were expected to represent 63 percent of sales in directly operated stores in 2023.

“It’s an incredible honour for me to be welcomed at Maison Valentino. I feel the immense joy and the huge responsibility to join a Maison de Couture that has the word ‘beauty’ carved on a collective story, made of distinctive elegance, refinement and extreme grace.

My first thought goes to this story: to the richness of its cultural and symbolic heritage, to the sense of wonder it constantly generates, to the very precious identity given with their wildest love by founding fathers, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti. These references always represented an essential source of inspiration for me, and I’m going to praise such influence through my own interpretation and creative vision.

My heartfelt gratitude, of course, goes to Rachid Mohamed Rachid who gave me this unique and irreplicable occasion. His trust is a gift of the soul that I will try to cherish with my work and total devotion.”

Alessandro Michele, Creative Director Valentino

3 Alessandro Michele new creative director of Valentino March 2024

As the fashion world watches with bated breath, one thing is clear: the runway will never be the same. And frankly (pun intended), we can’t wait to see what this mad fashion scientist has up his fabulously tailored sleeves.

READ RELATED STORY: Kering’s Acquisition of 30% of Valentino – the Corrupting Power of Unchecked Ambition

Posted from Milan, Municipio 1, Italy.