Alessandro Michele announced that he would be leaving his post as creative director of Gucci on Wednesday afternoon. The designer had held the top job for seven years, and had worked for the company for over 20. In an Instagram post, Michele wrote, “during this long period, Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals who have looked after it and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible.”
What Michele built, in large part, was a frequent and welcome presence on the biggest red carpets in the world. Some of the hottest celebrities—Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Dakota Johnson among them—have built a visual identity inextricable from Michele’s eccentric taste. And let’s not forget his playfulness! Some of the most indelible instances include Jared Leto carrying a copy of his own head up the Met Gala’s stairs in 2019, robed in billowing scarlet silk and a glittering harness; A$AP Rocky wearing a silk scarf babushka style in 2018; Jodie Turner’s acid green gloves at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year; Harry Styles’s purple boa at the 2021 Grammys; and Jessica Chastain’s ombré Oscars 2022 dress. With an eye for color, texture, and references (see: Lana del Rey’s Hedy Lamar ensemble at the 2018 Grammys) Michele will be missed at these events. We can only hope he’ll find a way to delight us nonetheless.