After weeks of speculation, Gucci has announced its new creative director. Sabato De Sarno will succeed Alessandro Michele, who exited in November last year.
De Sarno joins Gucci from Valentino where he was director of men’s and women’s collections and will present his first collection in September.
Born in Naples, De Sarno began his career at Prada in 2005, moving to Dolce & Gabbana, before joining Valentino in 2009.
In a statement, he said: “I am deeply honored to take on the role as Creative Director of Gucci. I am proud to join a House with such an extraordinary history and heritage, that over the years has been able to welcome and cherish values I believe in. I am touched and excited to contribute my creative vision for the brand.”
Kering has a habit of passing over superstar designer names in favour of internal candidates (Tom Ford, Frida Gianini and Alessandro Michele were all Gucci staffers) or elevating experienced unknowns such as Daniel Lee who came from Celine and was himself succeeded by his number two, Matthieu Blazy. Sabato falls into the experienced unknowns category, having honed his skills at Valentino for over a decade. Now the fashion spotlight is firmly fixed on this talented designer.
Welcoming him to the Kering fold, Marco Bizzari, Gucci president and CEO said: “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,”. That’s not an understatement. Expectations are sky-high for anyone in this role. De Sabato must not only deliver growth, and excitement but cultural relevance too, as well as taking Gucci in a fresh direction after the Michele years.
François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, spelled it out when he said: “With Sabato De Sarno at the creative helm, we are confident that the House will continue both to influence fashion and culture through highly desirable products and collections, and to bring a singular and contemporary perspective to modern luxury.”
Portrait courtesy of Gucci.