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Alessandro Michele to join Valentino as creative director

Luxury fashion house Valentino has confirmed the arrival of Alessandro Michele as creative director, succeeding Pierpaolo Piccioli, who exited the brand on Friday after 25 years. Michele left his role as creative director of Gucci in November 2022.

Michele – who left his role as creative director of Gucci in November 2022 – will start at the Rome-based house on Tuesday, according to an internal statement. His first collection will be for spring 2025.

“It’s an incredible honour,” said Michele of his appointment in a statement today. He added: “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.”

Among his new duties will be designing couture for the first time. Speaking of the prospect, he said: “I search for words to nominate the joy, to regard it, to really convey what I feel; the smiles that kick from the chest, the bliss of gratitude that lights up the eyes, that precious moment when necessity and beauty reach out and meet. Joy, though, is such a living thing that I’m afraid to hurt it if I dare to speak its name.”

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Michele is succeeding Pierpaolo Piccioli, who is leaving Valentino after more than two decadesDaniele Venturelli - Getty Images

Michele's appointment has been overseen by Valentino’s CEO, Jacopo Venturini. The two previously worked as colleagues at Gucci, where Venturini was vice president of merchandising and global markets. Praising Michele’s “profound intelligence” and “wonderful lightness”, Venturini said: “I am very happy and excited to return to work with Alessandro.”

He added: “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.” The newly appointed creative director described Venturini as: “an extraordinary professional, able to combine pragmatism and strategic vision, competence and sensibility.”

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Michele reinvented Gucci, dressing stars like Harry StylesTheo Wargo - Getty Images

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, chairman of Valentino, was instrumental in today’s appointment of Michele. In a statement, he said: “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.”

Michele joined Gucci in 2002 following a stint as senior accessories designer at Fendi, and was officially appointed to Gucci’s top creative role in January 2015. During his tenure he reinvented the brand with a quirky, androgynous aesthetic, and dressed stars including Dakota Johnson and Harry Styles.

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