After months of speculation, loose predictions, and wild bets, the fashion industry finally got the answer to the burning question on everyone’s mind: who will be taking over the head of Gucci’s creative arm? For those that may not be aware, last November, the Italian luxury label’s then-creative director Alessandro Michele called it quits with the Maison that made his fame, bringing an end to an eight-year tenure. Announcing his surprising departure mere weeks before fashion season picked up again, everyone from industry-involved personalities to fans of the brand could not stop but ask themselves who will pick up the torch from the 50-year-old designer who’s largely been credited for blowing life back into the century-old company, developing an aesthetic and ensuing communication that kept on reinventing the ways in which we enjoy, consume, and look at Gucci.
Finally, the big suspense came to its much-awaited end as over the weekend, representatives revealed Michele’s successor. Sabato De Sarno, current director of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear at Valentino, will be filling up one of the most coveted positions less than two months after Michele’s sudden departure. Although a relatively unknown figure in the fashion world, De Sarno’s resume speaks for itself, boasting a rich track record of prestigious experiences, having previously cut his teeth at Prada and Dolce & Gabbana in the past.
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His appointment seems to be following the same train of thought as Michele’s seven years ago, as he was, very much like De Sarno is now, a niche name who rose through the industry’s ranks after being handed the reigns of the company. As a reminder, Michele was chosen from within Gucci’s own team, while De Sarno brings a fresh perspective as an outsider to the brand.
Expected to bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise with him onto this new challenge, in a statement from Gucci’s parent company, Kering, Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of the label, lauded De Sarno’s addition to the team, mentioning his “distinctive vision” that will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of the brand.
“I am delighted that Sabato will join Gucci as the House’s new Creative Director, one of the most influential roles in the luxury industry,” Bizzarri said of De Sarno in a press release. “Having worked with a number of Italy’s most renowned luxury fashion houses, he brings with him a vast and relevant experience,” he added.
Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering, echoed on the above statement, saying that “With Sabato De Sarno at the creative helm, we are confident that the House will continue both to influence fashion and culture.”
To honor his appointment, we thought it fitting to provide you with an all-encompassing overview of De Sarno, to ensure that you are up-to-date and well-informed about him as well as what you can expect from him ahead of his first few steps with Gucci.
His name means Saturday in Italian
The news of De Sarno’s appointment was announced on a Saturday, which comes as a nod to the creative director’s name “Sabato,” which is the Italian word for Saturday.
He has a long relationship with Valentino
De Sarno’s career kicked off with an early spell at Prada in 2005. After working at Dolce & Gabbana, he joined Valentino in 2009. Throughout his time at Valentino, he occupied multiple roles before ultimately being named director of both men’s and women’s collections. In this position, he collaborated closely with the lead designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli.
His debut is expected to take place in September
He is scheduled to debut his first collection in September at Milan Women’s Fashion Week, expected to make his mark with the Italian label as he did with his previous collaborators so far.
He’s a solitary figure
Personal information about De Sarno are quite difficult to find online, and there’s a reason why: his presence online is quite limited. With only an Instagram profile to his name, that he updates every now and again, not much can be found about him when googling his name, keeping the fashion industry on its toes as to what it can expect from the enigmatic personality.