Gucci names Sabato De Sarno as its new creative chief
Gucci, the jewel in the crown on the Kering fashion empire, has named Valentino's Sabato De Sarno as its new creative director.
De Sarno replaces Alessandro Michele who, during his seven year tenure, famously revived Gucci's fortunes with his eclectic "Gucci Geek" look. Michele's departure, however was announced last November amid slowing sales growth and talk of Kering's desire to take a new direction at the house.
The first new collection by De Sarno will be presented at Milan Fashion Week in September 2023 and in his new role, De Sarno will lead the house’s Design Studio reporting to Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci. He will be given the responsibility for "defining and expressing the House’s creative vision across the women’s, men’s, leather goods, accessories and lifestyle collections".
Raised in Naples, De Sarno began his fashion career at Prada in 2005, before moving to Dole & Gabbana and then to Valentino in 2009, where he rose through the ranks finally being promoted to fashion director overseeing both men’s and women’s collections.
“I am 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," said Gucci's Bizzarri.
François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO of Kering, added: “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.”
In the third quarter of the 2022 financial year Gucci achieved revenue totalling €2.581 million, up 18% as reported and 9% on a comparable basis. While this is healthy growth, the rate of growth was slower than some Kering stablemates. At Yves Saint Laurent third quarter revenue hit €916 million, up 40% as reported and up 30% on a comparable basis and Bottega Veneta’s revenue totalled €437 million in the third quarter, up 20% as reported and up 14% on a comparable basis.
Sabato De Sarno said of taking the top creative role at the historic house: “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.”
De Sarno will join Gucci as soon as he is freed from the responsibilities of his current role.
Image: Ricardo Raspa. Courtesy of Kering.