Appointed creative director in January, Alessandro Michele brings a contemporary, new point of view to the House of Gucci. His is a fashion that champions the individual—eclectic, current, daring. Here, five questions with the Roman-born designer.
You recently told American Vogue you were trying to create "a little revolution" here at Gucci. What does that mean for you?
I’m trying to push another language, a different way to talk about beauty and sexiness, which for me is an old word. Today, it’s about sensuality. I believe we all need to dream and I like the idea of a certain kind of dreamy romanticism—something almost cinematic.
For your Women’s Fall Winter 2015 Fashion Show, you cited Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. How does his work resonate with your creative approach?
I truly believe in his idea that to deeply understand contemporaneity you don’t have to perfectly coincide with your time and its demands and codes. With the Fall Winter collection, I tried to explore the world through this disconnection and not merely record the present, but the threshold between the “no longer” and the “not yet.”
Women in suits. Men in lace shirts. What drives your fluid approach to dressing?
If you walk down a street in any town or city in the world today you realize there’s a kind of marvelous anarchy that characterizes young people, actually people of all ages. My collections reflect something that is happening around us: a strong affirmation of freedom beyond what's already established, beyond cataloguing, beyond labeling.
So would you say fashion, first and foremost, is a form of individual expression?
When I started the first collection, I wasn’t thinking in terms of fashion but in terms of attitude, so I built my fashion show around the idea of individuality. The way you dress is really the way you feel, the way you live, what you read, your choices. That’s what I want to put into Gucci.
Gucci’s history is long and far-reaching. Describe your relationship with the brand and its codes?
I’ve spent more than 13 years inside Gucci’s design offices and in my new role I wanted to find a sense of beauty befitting for an old and charming brand like Gucci. I love working with the ‘pop symbols’ of the company: the GG logo, the green-red-green Web stripe, the Horsebit. These are precious things—relics—and I want to give them a very contemporary attitude. I work with different symbols to mix the past with the present. For me, the future is now.