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Gucci’s got a brand new creative director!

After months of speculation, Sabato De Sarno has taken the top spot at the Italian house

After 18 straight days across Florence, Milan, Paris, and, for the lucky few attending Alaïa’s intimate couture show at Pieter Mulier’s house, Antwerp, the first big fashion season of the year came to a dizzying close last night. There’s no rest for the wicked in this industry though, as some huge news lands in our inboxes and across social media this morning (Saturday, January 28): Gucci has a brand new creative director, baby! 

Picking up where Alessandro Michele left off late last year is Sabato De Sarno, who right now heads up Valentino’s pret-a-porter collections under Pierpaolo Piccioli. The designer, who also has a stint at Prada under his belt, isn’t a household name like many of the creatives who switch around the helms of some of fashion’s biggest houses – but then neither was Michele, who headed up the Italian brand’s shoe and accessories department until he ascended to its dizzying peak. Clearly Gucci believes in the power of this once-winning formula, and it’s interesting to see a house continue to pluck people from obscurity rather than pick from the same small pool at the top.

“With Sabato De Sarno at the creative helm, we are confident that the house will continue to both influence fashion and culture through highly desirable products and collections,” explained Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault in a press release, with Gucci CEO Marco Bizzari echoing his delight at De Sarno’s appointment. “Having worked with a number of Italy’s most renowned luxury fashion houses, he brings with him a vast and relevant experience,” he wrote. “I am certain that through Sabato’s deep understanding and appreciation for Gucci’s unique legacy, he will lead our creative teams with a distinctive vision that will help write this exciting next chapter.”

De Sarno’s appointment puts to bed countless rumours as to who would take Gucci’s revered top spot. Names whispered throughout the industry included British designers Martine Rose and Grace Wales Bonner, who have also (likely unfoundedly) been tipped to take over Louis Vuitton, as was Jonathan Anderson, who is currently making fashion magic at Spanish house Loewe, as well as under his own eponymous label JW Anderson. De Sarno obviously has big boots to fill, but what Gucci will look like under his watchful eye is unclear for now. His first show will be here before you know it, however. The Italian designer is set to make his big debut at Milan Fashion Week in September, so until then, watch this space.

In the meantime, revisit the AW23 Gucci menswear collection – designed this season by the in-house team – right here and click through the gallery above.