What Happened: It’s finally here. Ever since Alessandro Michele stepped down as creative director of Gucci in 2022, the fashion world has been waiting to see how the Italian brand would approach its next step.
Rather than hire a celebrity creative director to fill Michele’s shoes, the brand announced that the relatively unknown Sabato De Sarno would succeed Michele earlier this year. And now, to cap off Milan Fashion Week De Sarno has shown his debut outing for Gucci with the Spring/Summer 2024 collection titled “Ancora,” meaning “still.”
De Sarno already showed a preview of his take on Gucci last month with a jewelry campaign starring Daria Werbowy, the early 2000s supermodel.
Werbowy did not walk today’s show but was in attendance, alongside new stars like Halle Bailey, Emma Chamberlain and Bad Bunny, and fashion stalwarts like Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino (De Sarno’s longtime boss prior to his Gucci appointment), Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault and, of course, Anna Wintour.
With his first full ready-to-wear collection, De Sarno largely stayed true to the aesthetic he showcased in the jewelry campaign, a casual, paired-down style worlds away from Michele’s quirky, colorful glitz and glam. Less than 24 hours after Peter Hawkings showed his debut collection for Tom Ford with a show that largely mimicked the codes of his predecessor, De Sarno showed a more forward-thinking approach to the powerhouse Gucci label.
The Jing Take: Clothes aside, the main money-maker of any luxury fashion house these days are the accessories. And Alessandro Michele found a massive hit in the fur-trimmed mules he created for Gucci in 2015. In the footwear department, De Sarno has put his bets on a staggering platform version of the house’s beloved horsebit loafer. Practical? Not really, but nor were the furry slides and it’s easy to imagine the platforms tromping the streets of Milan and Paris in fashion week street style shots to come.
But De Sarno is not pulling from the Michele playbook in his overall vision. His work looks more akin to his contemporaries like Matthieu Blazy at Bottega Veneta with one look showing a loose, low-slung denim paired with white tank top. There’s little in the way of the ’70s glamour both Michele and Tom Ford injected into Gucci during their eras, but instead an embrace of today’s quiet luxury aesthetic with the opening look showing a long duster coat with a subtle Gucci stripe hidden in the slit, paired with short shorts and a white tank. The Gucci double-G pattern made an appearance in a matching short and shirt look, but De Sarno
Even while the show concluded with a few beaded cocktail dresses, whose simple boxy shapes made them look as though they could have come from Prada’s atelier, De Sarno’s take on the Gucci woman is resolutely casual, with gray hoodies atop pencil skirts and white sneakers paired with little black dresses. De Sarno himself took his bow in a black T-shirt, jeans and Converse.
Michele’s colorful, long-haired ’70s aesthetic proved to be a perfect fit for stars like Jared Leto and Harry Styles, helping Gucci stand out on red carpets and in magazine editorials throughout his tenure. De Sarno has already established a muse in 2000s icon Daria Werbowy, and yet his take on Gucci feels contemporary.
Likely a few of the young stars in the front row will be seen wearing Gucci in street style shots in the seasons to come.