West News Wire: A new name has emerged in fashion. With Gucci’s announcement that Sabato de Sarno has been named to the position of creative director, the most prestigious job opening in the sector has been filled.

Events at Gucci have been accelerating as the company undergoes a shake-up to reverse “brand fatigue,” which is to blame for the house’s growth being eclipsed by Kering Group stablemate Saint Laurent last year.

Alessandro Michele abruptly left Gucci two months ago, purportedly due to a reluctance to pursue the aggressive high-growth plan desired in the boardroom. Michele had spearheaded a remarkable Gucci resurrection by connecting it with the inclusive principles and main-character spirit of Gen Z.

Michele once remarked, “I want men and women to feel genuine and free in the pursuit of themselves.” Michele once said of his mission at Gucci. Since then, a number of high profile names have been linked with the role – including Anthony Vaccarello, who has been immensely successful as the creative director of Saint Laurent.

De Sarno is a little known name, but arrives at Gucci with a prestigious CV. He has been a key figure in the design studio at Valentino for the past 13 years, during which it reinvented itself from a byword for old-school elegance to the buzziest brand on social media, with the power to set trends all over the world.

De Sarno rose through the ranks to his role overseeing the creative direction for womenswear and menswear at Valentino. It is thought he worked on last year’s most high-profile wedding dress, worn by Nicola Peltz at her marriage to Brooklyn Beckham.

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The first hint at the look and feel of De Sarno’s Gucci came in the timing of the announcement. Sabato means Saturday in Italian, and Kering released the news outside the working week, on a Saturday morning. It was the kind of esoteric, individualistic quirk of timing that might have befitted the era of Michele, who moved Gucci’s shows away from the traditional calendar, preferring to follow his “own rhythm”.

Observers are likely to glean from this timing a hint that De Sarno, like his predecessor, will bring a personal touch to the powerhouse brand.


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