Written By:

Valentino has announced Alessandro Michele as its new creative director following last week’s departure of Pierpaolo Piccioli.

The former Gucci creative director completely revamped the Italian house when he took to the helm in 2015, catapulting it to the world’s most popular brand through the 2010s and bringing in nearly 10 billion euros in revenue in 2021 alone. He became renowned for his inclusive vision, avid support for the next generation of design talent, and an eccentric, maximalist design language which hopped between different time periods and subverted traditional codes of both men’s and womenswear. After stepping down from the house in November 2023, Michele has gone rather under the radar, but this appointment ends 14 months of speculation about where (and when) the Roman designer would resurface.

“It’s an incredible honour,” he said of his appointment in a statement shared with Vogue Business. “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.” Speaking of his first steps at the helm of the house, Michele said, “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.”

Valentino’s CEO, Jacopo Venturini said, “I am very happy and excited to return to work with Alessandro. I am certain that the reinterpretation of the Maison’s couture codes and the heritage created by Mr Valentino Garavani, combined with Alessandro’s extraordinary vision, will bring us moments of great emotion and will translate into irresistibly desirable objects.”

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, chairman of Valentino, added, “The appointment of Alessandro Michele marks another pivotal moment for Maison Valentino. He is an exceptional talent, and his appointment underlines our great ambitions for Maison Valentino. I strongly believe that with his unique creativity and sensibility, Alessandro will continue the elevation of the brand’s everlasting heritage… a new page of excellence and endless beauty is ready to be written in the history of Valentino.”

At Gucci, Michele was a champion of collaboration, so it’s possible this will become a pillar of Michele’s Valentino, time will tell. Michele will present his debut Valentino collection in September during Paris Fashion Week with the maison’s SS25 collection. Watch this space.

Photography by Fabio Lovino.