Ending months of speculation over who would fill the biggest job opening in fashion, Gucci has appointed a new creative director: Sabato De Sarno. De Sarno, 39, is an industry veteran. He’ll be joining Gucci from Valentino, where he most recently oversaw men’s and women’s ready-to-wear.
“Having worked with a number of Italy’s most renowned luxury fashion houses, he brings with him a vast and relevant experience,” Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri said of De Sarno in a press release. “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.”
De Sarno succeeds Alessandro Michele, who defined an era of menswear over the course of his eight-year run at Gucci, where he introduced a poppy graphic palette and genderless styling to great commercial success. Michele and Gucci abruptly parted ways in November following a period of slowing growth at the marquee Italian brand. “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,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Gucci parent company Kering.
A native of Naples, De Sarno started his career at Prada, before joining Dolce & Gabbana. He has spent the last 12 years at Valentino, where he worked closely with Pierpaolo Piccioli. De Sarno’s first Gucci runway collection will be unveiled during Milan Fashion Week in September. Said De Sarno in a statement, “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.”