Italian fashion house GUCCI and its parent company Kering have announced the appointment of Italian designer Sabato de Sarno as their new creative director, succeeding Alessandro Michele.
De Sarno will now be responsible for “defining and executing the creative vision of the Maison” across Gucci’s women’s, men’s, leather goods, accessories, and lifestyle divisions. His first collection for Gucci will be unveiled at Milan Fashion Week in September this year.
This new appointment of Italian designer De Sarno came as a surprise to industry insiders. It’s because De Sarno has yet to lead a major label and has a relatively limited public profile even though he is known in fashion circles for his work at Valentino. De Sarno started his career at Prada in 2005. Then, after working at Dolce & Gabbana, he joined Valentino in 2009. He has spent the last 13 years at Valentino, most recently as fashion director for men’s and women’s ready-to-wear.
Actually, De Sarno’s predecessor Alessandro Michele was also suddenly appointed by Gucci in 2015. Michele then helped revive and transform the brand, ushering in an era of colorful, maximalist, and increasingly gender-fluid collections. The same could be expected of De Sarno, who has relevant experience with big-name luxury brands.
In a statement, De Sarno 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.”
Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzari also stated that he is delighted that Sabato will join Gucci as the House’s new creative director, one of the most influential roles in the luxury industry. “Having worked with a number of Italy’s most renowned luxury fashion houses, he brings with him a vast and relevant experience. 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, reinforcing the House’s fashion authority while capitalizing on its rich heritage,” He added.
At the same time, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering said: “One hundred and two years after Guccio Gucci opened his first store in Florence, Gucci remains one of the most iconic, prominent, and influential luxury houses in the world. 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.”