For the first time in two years, Gucci’s sales are up. Why? Kering (the company that owns the brand, along with Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent) are blaming the 4.9 per cent rise on its new creative director, Alessandro Michele. Michele – formerly the brand’s head accessories designer – debuted his first collection at Milan Men’s Fashion Week in January, to critical acclaim.
Following the swift departure of its former creative director Frida Giannini, Michele had just five days to put the collection together. However his new, Bohemian, androgynous and romantic vision was lauded by the press. Four collections and two Glen Luchford shot campaigns later, this vision has won fans, not only among the press, but among the brand’s clients too.
But Gucci isn't the only Kering-owned label to be reaping the financial rewards of a change in leadership. In the three years since Hedi Slimane has taken the helm at Saint Laurent, the brand’s sales have more than doubled. This has been attributed to the broad appeal of Slimane’s vision (inspired by musical subcultures), his luxury-but-basic items and of course, the designer’s own cult following.