Michele's Gucci Coup

How do you reinvent a superbrand? Hire Alessandro Michele, if Gucci's latest financial results are anything to go by. The Italian house saw a better-than-expected five per cent rise in sales for the final three months of 2015. The dramatic improvement saw revenue in the last quarter reach 1.1 billion euros, 4.8 per cent higher than the same quarter of 2014. Analysts had predicated an increase of 1.5 per cent
The financial coup comes after a remarkable period of reinvention at the hands of Michele. Gucci, always the jewel in the Kering crown, accounting for 60 per cent of the conglomerate's total income, had been stagnating both commercially and creatively in recent years. When Michele, the inside man who had quietly worked away behind the scenes at Gucci for 12 years, was unexpectedly made creative director of the house in January 2015, he was staring down the barrel of declining sales and an increasingly irrelevant aesthetic. Despite the pressure, his first womenswear show, for autumn/winter 2015, was rapturously received by the fashion press and buyers - but the odd dissenter whispered that favourable reviews are no guarantee of commercial success. Michele,  who won International Fashion Designer of the Year in December, at the British Fashion Awards, looks to have silenced them.