SYDNEY – Alessandro Michele was dialling in via video link from Gucci’s Design Office in Rome, perched on a blue Chesterfield sofa and wearing a sparkling necklace, bright blue sweater and burgundy pants.
“I’m nursing a cold,” he told the group of regional and Australian journalists at the Powerhouse Ultimo contemporary museum in Sydney, two days before the official Nov 17 opening of the Gucci Garden Archetypes exhibition.
The travelling multi-sensory showcase – launched in Florence in May 2021 to celebrate the Italian fashion house’s 100th anniversary – recreates some of the most groundbreaking advertising campaigns Michele has conceived for Gucci as its creative director.
Unknown to all of us, the bearded, long-haired fashion provocateur was probably giving one of his last interviews, if not his last, as Gucci’s creative director.
The fashion world went into a tizzy on Thursday when news broke that Michele – who joined Gucci as an accessories designer in 2002 before becoming creative director in 2015 – was leaving the label he had helped to make one of the most edgy and coveted in the last eight years.
If he already knew that he was leaving Gucci during the interview, he hid it well. Speaking through an interpreter, he mulled each question carefully before giving deep, thoughtful and almost philosophical answers.
It is well known that Michele is not your average designer. His creative manifesto hints at parallel worlds, where – among other things – art, theatre, literature, philosophy and cinema collide. In fact, it was reported earlier in 2022 that he is working on a book with Italian philosopher Emanue...