January saw the surprise announcement that Italian luxury brand Gucci was replacing its long-serving creative director Frida Giannini with a new name, Alessandro Michele.
Although he had worked behind the scenes at the brand for more than 12 years, Michele was an unexpected choice as he was almost unknown outside of the label yet installed into one of fashion’s most prominent positions at the helm of Kering Group’s billion-pound brand.
Even more unexpected was the audacious overhaul Michele brought to Gucci over the following 12 months and the impact his collections have had on the wider fashion industry. In a leap away from the signature sleek and sexy Gucci look created by both Giannini and former creative director Tom Ford, Michele debuted the new look Gucci at January’s autumn 15 menswear show (which the designer reportedly put together in just five days following Giannini’s exit). This and subsequent collections have focused on a quirky, vintage-inspired thrift store style and blurred the lines between conventional gendered dressing, with androgynous boys in romantic pussy bow blouses and girls in eccentric granny dresses and mannish tailoring. In such a short time Michele has put Gucci back on the fashion map, and the influence of his designs have set off a trend that has permeated throughout the entire industry.