Gucci's creative director Frida Giannini has left her role a month ahead of schedule, Kering has confirmed.
The early exit is designed to help the fashion house move forward, and to speed up the appointment of Giannini's successor - whoever that may be. As for the upcoming men's and women's shows? The in-house design teams will be taking the helm.
In an official statement Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci, said, 'I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that Frida Giannini has made to Gucci’s legacy during her nine-year tenure as creative director.'
Needless to say the fashion rumour milll is in full swing, with Hedi Slimane, Riccardo Tisci and Christopher Kane all rumoured to be on the list of possible replacements. The latest name to be added? Tom Ford, who spent 10 years as creative director at the label before falling out with the CEO and stepping down. A spokesman for the designer has categorically denied that he's in the running.
Kering confirmed last month last that Giannini and her husband, Patrizio Di Marco, would leave the label early this year, but the designer was expected to stay until the label's womens's a/w 2015 show in February.
Needless to say, this is Big Fashion News. Together, Giannini and Di Marco hold the keys to one of the most powerful and prestigious brands in the world, and have been steering it towards continued commercial success since Giannini took on the top job in 2006.
GIF: Gucci s/s 2015
Giannini has worked hard to raise her own profile at the brand - last year, starring in film The Director, which was directed and produced by Christina Voros and James Franco respectively. The film was released shortly after the birth of her and Di Marco's first child in April 2013. She also pioneered the long-awaited launch of Gucci's own-brand make-up line to much fanfare this summer.
No further comment has been made about the news, but WWD reports that Giannini will leave Gucci at the end of February, after showing the house's autumn/winter 2015 collection as her last. A new creative director will be appointed 'later'.
Di Marco, meanwhile, is confirmed to step down on 1 January and is to be replaced by Marco Bizzarri, who was appointed as the first chief executive of Kering’s couture and leather goods division in April 2014.