The legendary house of Gucci has witnessed a transformative shift in aesthetics with the introduction of Sabato De Sarno’s inaugural collection, taking the reins from Alessandro Michele. This change has prompted many to revisit the golden days of Gucci, particularly the Tom Ford era, with eager anticipation.
Michele vs. De Sarno: A Comparison
Alessandro Michele’s reign at Gucci was synonymous with maximalist and colorful floral prints. His style became emblematic, significantly impacting market trends and captivating celebrities and fashion editors alike. However, as is the case with all high fashion, trends eventually shift.
Enter Sabato De Sarno, a Valentino alumnus, with a fresh vision for the iconic brand. As stated in an interview with Vogue’s Nicole Phelps, De Sarno aims to restore the authentic Italian essence of Gucci, emphasizing its rich heritage. Using the term “ancora” to encapsulate his mission, De Sarno seeks to rejuvenate the love and enthusiasm consumers once held for Gucci.
Where Michele’s designs were often bold and attention-grabbing, De Sarno chooses subtlety. He adopts a deep red as his signature shade, a hue inspired by Gucci’s historical elements. This color finds its roots in the original lining of the iconic Jackie bag and the elevator of the Savoy Hotel, where Guccio Gucci was employed.
De Sarno’s Distinctive Signatures
- Color Palette: Contrary to Michele’s flamboyant designs, De Sarno’s collection predominantly features white, tan, and navy, interspersed with striking red in select pieces, such as skirts, jackets, and platform loafers.
- Logo Presence: The iconic GG canvas is subtly showcased, either embossed on grey fabric or featured on various outfits without additional adornment.
- Accessories: A significant highlight includes the Marina Chain jewelry and dramatically high platform loafers. While accessories remain integral, they are presented without excessive ostentation.
- Silhouette and Style: De Sarno’s creations lean towards the sensual, accentuating body shapes with super-short hems, snugly fit tops, and open-back mini dresses. The emphasis lies in creating uncomplicated yet complete pieces that resonate with contemporary dressing preferences.
Although the collection isn’t overtly nostalgic, it hints at a simpler time, reminiscent of Tom Ford’s tenure at Gucci. Minimalism dominates, with touches of extravagance, such as the diamanté netting over tops and tinsel-like fringe on skirts and coats.
The Show Unfolds
Hosted under a red-darkened ambiance, the SS24 collection came alive with an array of sleek and sensual designs. The opening ensemble set the tone: black shorts paired with a sheer white top beneath a dark coat, complemented by a classic Jackie 1961 model bag and chunky necklace.
Following this, the runway witnessed a series of sophisticated outfits – from hoodies and slit skirts to sexy babydolls and mini-dresses with deep necklines. This collection seemed to pay homage to Tom Ford’s time at Gucci, notably between 1994-2004, when the brand achieved a staggering valuation of over 10 billion dollars.
The Changing Landscape of Luxury Fashion
The world of luxury fashion is in constant flux, with brands navigating the delicate balance between maintaining their heritage and adapting to contemporary tastes. Gucci’s decision to pivot from Michele’s maximalist flair to De Sarno’s refined elegance represents a larger trend in the industry. As consumer preferences shift, brands are recognizing the importance of evolving while staying rooted in their core identity.
The Road Ahead for Gucci
With the luxury segment witnessing fluctuations, the stakes are particularly high for Gucci. Recent figures from parent company Kering indicated a decline, with Gucci’s sales dropping by 1 percent, amounting to 5.128 billion euros. This transition under De Sarno’s leadership is a strategic move to invigorate the brand and boost its market position.
Business of Fashion (BoF) highlighted Gucci’s valuation during Ford’s tenure, underscoring the brand’s potential for a resurgence. As De Sarno’s debut collection indicates, a revived emphasis on minimalistic elegance might be the key to unlocking Gucci’s next golden era. Fashion enthusiasts will undoubtedly keep a keen eye on how the brand’s narrative unfolds in the upcoming seasons, anticipating its evolution and potential return to its previous zenith.