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Alessandro Michele is Maison Valentino’s new creative director

The appointment comes almost a week after the departure of Pierpaolo Piccioli, who joined the house in 1999 and spent eight years at the design helm.

Alessandro Michele is Maison Valentino’s new creative director

Alessandro Michele in 2018. The designer was just named creative director of Valentino. Michael Tran/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • Alessandro Michele has been named the next creative director at Maison Valentino, minority owner Kering confirmed in an email to Fashion Dive.
  • Michele left his role as creative director of Kering-owned Gucci in late 2022, and this will be his first appointment since that departure. Multiple media outlets have reported that the designer is expected to start as early as April 2.
  • Pierpaolo Piccioli, the previous creative director, announced last week that he would be stepping down. He arrived at Valentino in 1999 as an accessories designer, became co-creative director alongside Maria Grazia Chiuri in 2008, and in 2016, took on the sole creative director role following Chiuri’s departure.

Dive Insight:

With this move, Valentino has shifted both its ownership structure and creative direction in under a year.

In July 2023, Kering announced it would buy a 30% stake in the Italy-based luxury brand from investment company Mayhoola. That deal, valued at 1.7 billion euros, or $1.8 billion at current exchange rates, includes an option for Kering to acquire the entirety of the house by the end of 2028. The arrangement is part of a partnership between Kering and Mayhoola, and it could result in Mayhoola becoming a Kering shareholder, per a press release announcing the transaction.

Now, as Michele prepares to take on the top design spot at Valentino, his trajectory brings him back to Kering, the luxury fashion conglomerate he previously left.

“I am very happy that Alessandro has been appointed at the creative helm of Valentino and I am certain that with his creativity, culture and versatile talent, he will be able to interpret masterfully the unique heritage of this magnificent House and make it flourish,” François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, said in an emailed statement. “I can’t wait to see his passion, imagination and dedication at play in this new chapter for Valentino.”

Valentino has not released a formal statement, and didn’t immediately respond to Fashion Dive’s request for comment. However, on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, the company wrote that it was honored to announce Michele’s appointment.

“This appointment marks the beginning of a new journey to continue shining unique values of the brand, its heritage and couture codes in the world through Alessandro Michele’s unique perspective and wealth of experience,” the company’s post read.

Meanwhile, Kering announced earlier this month that its consolidated revenue for Q1 is expected to drop approximately 10% year over year, with comparable Q1 revenue at Gucci expected to fall by nearly 20% year on year.

In February, Kering reported 8% declines at all of its luxury fashion houses for Q4, and a fiscal 2023 year-over-year revenue drop of 4% to 19.6 billion euros.

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