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Sabato De Sarno had deliberate to stage his first Gucci present on the trendy streets of Brera in Milan, however a moist forecast prompted a last-minute transfer again to Gucci headquarters. His warning paid — it rained. There’s nothing that sours the temper of show-goers like a present staged in a downpour.
Still, the temper of visitors exiting De Sarno’s debut on Friday afternoon was not fairly jubilant. Mostly, there was confusion: what precisely is De Sarno’s imaginative and prescient for Gucci? And who’s it for?
Certainly the gathering — titled “Ancora”, which means “again” — didn’t really feel tailor-made to the rich, older shoppers analysts have lengthy complained that De Sarno’s predecessor Alessandro Michele failed to talk to, and who’ve turn out to be more and more important to manufacturers’ backside strains as post-pandemic demand from youthful, extra aspirational consumers within the US and China has evaporated.
In truth it felt very younger, with Miu Miu-esque micro-mini skorts reduce quick sufficient to disclose bum cheeks, bejewelled bandeau tops that harkened again to Tom Ford, and shiny leather-based pencil skirts too stiff and high-slit to sit down down in. Low-rise denims and a lengthy inexperienced tank with beaded fringe had been distinctly Y2K (and thus ripe for TikTok). With the exception of a black gilet and a couple of blazers, these had been garments not for boardrooms or elegant dinners, however for being out and paparazzied in.
In present notes, De Sarno described the gathering as “a party at the first light of day” and “Getty images of cool people of all ages”.
As for the equipment? Here De Sarno performed it protected, transforming tried-and-tested home icons — the Jackie, the top-handled Bamboo — in shiny, vibrant leathers. The horsebit idler was elevated, actually, into a platform shoe. The white red-and-green-striped tennis sneaker reappeared, teamed with zip-front hoodies and sporty clothes reduce from gray cotton jersey.
Until he acquired the Gucci job this yr, De Sarno’s identify was little-known within the style trade, a lot much less outdoors of it. He has spent the previous 14 years at Valentino, most just lately as design director. This is his first time taking over a artistic director position — and it occurs to be one of many 5 largest manufacturers within the enterprise, with gross sales of greater than €10bn final yr.
Gucci has a new CEO in addition to a new designer, within the type of Kering chair François-Henri Pinault’s long-time right-hand Jean-François Palus. He started working at Kering 32 years in the past, effectively earlier than it grew to become a style and luxurious enterprise (he began in timber). Pinault described Palus as his “sparring partner” when he introduced he was taking over the Gucci position, initially on an interim foundation, final July.
Revenues at Gucci have slowed relative to rivals reminiscent of LVMH-owned Dior and Hermès lately, and Palus and De Sarno are tasked with reversing that development. Pinault informed analysts at the tip of July that Gucci, which is answerable for two-thirds of Kering’s earnings, has the potential to turn out to be a €15bn-revenue model “in the foreseeable future”.
One of the nice issues about De Sarno’s assortment was its dimension and its selection. Some of the ideas he introduced may take off; others may not, or want extra time for this author to digest. But from right here, De Sarno — and Gucci — might go anyplace.
Lauren Indvik is the FT’s style editor
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