Rumours of Gucci’s creative director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco leaving the brand were confirmed this morning. Di Marco leaves on January 1 while Giannini will leave at the end of February, after showing her autumn / winter 2015 collection. A successor will be named later, says Gucci.
The question is, who? Who has the experience to take on the creative reins of Kering’s biggest luxury brand? Who has the imagination and influence to drive customers back into Gucci stores? Who will the industry get behind?
The bookies favourite: Riccardo Tisci
Tisci is currently in the creative hot seat at rival LVMH brand, Givenchy. Some critics took his s/s15 collection to be one big pitch for the Gucci job – heading back to ‘pure sex’ territory, as he put it backstage, after seasons of more conceptual offerings. He has done wonders for Givenchy, defining the codes of the house as sexy, cool and irreverent, transforming the brand’s accessories and making the humble sweatshirt ‘it’-worthy – proof that he can inspire global trends. Equally vital: he’s a celebrity magnet – Kimye have long attended his shows. He’s got the credibility and the industry clout. But would he be interested in switching luxury groups, from LVMH to Kering?
Kering has stakes in both young designers’ own-name labels, so if the luxury goods company is looking to promote from within, both stand a good chance – that is if they’d want the responsibility of creatively directing Kering’s biggest brand as well as running their own burgeoning successful businesses. Doubtul. Altuzarra, in particular, comes from the same fashion ‘food group’ as Tisci – he even worked with him at Givenchy – and promotes the kind of modern sexy seduction that Gucci needs. Both are industry golden boys who have brilliantly hit their stride and thus far have not put a foot wrong.
The Critics Choice: Peter Dundas
Dundas is the artistic director of LVMH-owned Emilio Pucci and the rumour-mill was in overdrive during the latest round of shows in Milan that he might be leaving the label - rumours that were instantly quashed by LVMH. The fact remains that Dundas designs for the younger money-no-object type of woman who might also be found shopping in Gucci. He has more than proved his ability to work at a heritage brand – making good use of the archives while propelling the brand forward with a youthful, extremely sexy spirit. Plus he looks the part.
The wildcard: Katie Grand
The British stylist and magazine editor was drafted in to work her magic on the spring / summer 2015 collection with Giannini which sparked rumours that something was afoot. It was hard to ignore Grand’s influence on what looked like winning pieces - Gucci sailor jeans and vintage-inspired military jackets. Could it be that Grand is looking to switch careers? Unlikely. But her experience with Marc Jacobs, formerly at Louis Vuitton and now with his eponymous brand, as well as Bottega Veneta and Sonia Rykiel, would stand her in great stead. Her Love magazine covers and advertising campaigns are proof she’s an image- maker extraordinaire. Plus, might they be looking for a woman to fill this spot?