At the womenswear presentations during Milan Fashion Week, Gucci last week presented its second collection without a creative lead.
The fall men’s and womenswear collections, designed by the brand’s in-house studio team, received ample coverage, as Gucci remains an important advertiser to most fashion publications. Yet the reviews skewed to the collections not being cohesive or memorable, riffing on familiar tropes from the brand’s previous creatives, Tom Ford and Alessandro Michele, but not making any impact toward a new renaissance.
Gucci in January appointed Sabato De Sarno as its new design director, confirming his first collection to be unveiled in September. By the time the brand’s new aesthetic vision will be revealed, the current studio collection will be in stores. An in-between collection that must tie-over Mr Michele’s maximalist and final SS23 collection until De Sarno’s SS24 debut. That’s nearly one full year of in-between product.
While the musical chairs of ever-changing creative directors may not interest every luxury shopper, Gucci’s growth will most certainly be hampered while it remains in creative flux, even if accessories and perfume sales will buffer its fashion ranges to some extent.
When Gucci’s front row, which included celebrities ASAP Rocky, Dakota Johnson and Chinese actor and pop sensation Xiao Zhan, generated more buzz than the clothes, it was a sign Kering must pull out all stops for its customers and clients to remain loyal to the brand and continue shopping. Most importantly it must keep any yawns from the press firmly away from its narratives.