Alessandro Michele is Valentino’s new creative director

Former Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele is named the successor to Pierpaolo Piccioli at the Roman house

Valentino Creative Director Alessandro Michele
Valentino’s new creative director Alessandro Michele
(Image credit: Courtesy of Valentino)

Just under a week since the announcement of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s departure from Valentino, the Roman house has announced the designer’s successor: Alessandro Michele, former creative director of Gucci, who exited the Italian label in November 2022. 

Michele, who was born in Rome, was one of the names that have circulated in the days since Piccioli’s announcement; having left Gucci, he is yet to have undertaken any other role at a fashion house, and has retained a low profile. This new appointment will see Michele present haute couture for the first time, alongside ready-to-wear for men and women, and will be effective from April 2024 (though his debut will not be shown until later in the year, as part of Paris Fashion Week S/S 2025).

‘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,’ said Michele in a statement issued this afternoon (28 March).

Alessandro Michele is Valentino’s new creative director

‘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,’ he continued, while also thanking Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Valentino’s chairman, and the house’s CEO Jacopo Venturini. ‘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.’

Michele is best known for a transformative tenure at Gucci, which ushered in a new maximal aesthetic infused with a languid romance and informed by eclectic inspirations which traversed eras and cultural touchpoints. Having worked as part of the design team for two decades under Tom Ford and Frida Giannini, his first collection of menswear – originally presumed to be a placeholder role – comprised pussy-bow blouses, fur-lined backless loafers, and 1970s silhouettes and would prove an instant success. Just a year later, in its October 2016 issue, Wallpaper* highlighted Michele as a ‘Game-Changer’, in the years that followed, he went on to transform the house’s financial fortunes and dress a roster of high-profile clients, from Harry Styles to Lana Del Rey.

After his 2022 departure from Gucci, he was replaced by current creative director (himself formerly of Valentino) Sabato de Sarno.

‘For the last 12 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,’ added Rachid.

‘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.’

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.