Gucci Gets Sabato De Sarno, Valentino Designer, as Creative Director to Revive Brand
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 237
French luxury goods group Kering, the owner of iconic Italian fashion house Gucci, has announced the appointment of Sabato De Sarno, a senior fashion designer at Valentino, as the brand's new creative director. Gucci, once a paragon of fashion success between 2015 and 2019, has seen a decline in popularity in recent years, and De Sarno will be tasked with rejuvenating the brand.
Bringing Extensive and Relevant Experience
In a statement posted on Kering's website, Gucci's CEO Marco Bizzarri praised De Sarno's appointment, stating that the 39-year-old designer brings "extensive and relevant experience" having worked with some of the most famous luxury fashion houses in Italy.
De Sarno expressed his excitement for the role, saying, "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." He added, "I am touched and excited to contribute my creative vision for the brand."
Nurturing Fashion Content to Drive Customers Back
De Sarno's debut Gucci collection is set to make its runway debut during Milan Fashion Week in September 2023.
However, industry analysts say that the new creative director will also have to generate buzz with fresh and innovative styles, a strategy that has served Gucci well in the past. As Antoine Belge, an analyst with Exane BNP Paribas, notes, "The future of Gucci is not to become another (Louis) Vuitton, Chanel or Hermes, but to nurture its fashion content to drive customers back to the brand." Jefferies analyst Flavio Cereda added, "Another bold choice that may work well again," though he cautioned that the director's task was not "straightforward this time." Gucci was under pressure to quickly fill its creative director position following the sudden departure of Alessandro Michele, the previous creative director who left the company due to tensions with Kering's top management, according to sources.