Alessandro Michele named new creative director of Valentino

Well, that was fast.

Just a week after announcing that Pierpaolo Piccioli was stepping down from his role as creative director at Valentino, the Italian fashion house has announced his successor: Alessandro Michele.

Michele, 51, boasts an impressive resume of his own, and has left fans guessing about his next move since he departed as Gucci’s head designer at the end of 2022, a job he held for seven years.

Michele previously served as creative director for Gucci for seven years. Getty Images
Reactions to the news were mixed, with some people calling the move a “terrible choice.” Corbis via Getty Images

According to Vogue Business, Michele’s debut Valentino collection, for spring/summer 2025, will hit the runway this September during Paris Fashion Week.

In a statement shared on Valentino’s Instagram, Michele called the new gig an “incredible honour,” adding that he felt both “immense joy and the huge responsibility to join a Maison de Couture.”

“I search for words to nominate the joy, to regard it, to really convey what I feel; the smiles that kick from the chest, the bliss of gratitude that lights up the eyes, that precious moment when necessity and beauty reach out and meet,” he continued.

“Joy, though, is such a living thing that I’m afraid to hurt it if I dare to speak its name.”

Michele is known for his quirky-cool creations, which often include sparkle and bold prints. Getty Images
One season, he famously sent models down the runway carrying eerie replicas of their own heads — and later made a version for Jared Leto to bring to the 2019 Met Gala. WireImage

Still, reactions to the appointment have been mixed, and the comments section on the post is a mix of mostly negative remarks.

“BIG mistake. Terrible choice,” the top response reads.

“I think this is a poor choice,” someone else admitted. “He did marvelous things for Gucci. But Valentino has its own voice. Much more classic – whereas Gucci was trendy.”

A Michele fan, however, called the hire the “Best news all year.” Added another, “this is going to be incredible.”

The designer has his own loyal fanbase and famous friends, including Leto, Dakota Johnson, Billie Eilish and Jodie Turner-Smith. Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue
He also collaborated with Harry Styles in the past. WireImage

Michele famously brought glitz and glam to Gucci, making headlines by sending head-toting models down the runway and creating quirky-cool designs that often featured sequins, standout prints and big bows.

And, while Valentino already has supporters in the likes of Florence Pugh and Jennifer Lopez, Michele has a famous loyal fanbase of his own, including Jared Leto, Dakota Johnson and Harry Styles, with whom he collaborated with on a collection.

We’ll have to wait a few months to see this story unfold, but Gucci’s already shaping up to be fashion month’s most anticipated show.