Kering sources claim that a formal announcement will be made soon.
An unknown and well-connected source, according to WWD, has leaked claims that Alessandro Michele may actually be quitting the company. After a source told WWD that Michele “has been requested to undertake a strong overall overhaul in design” to relaunch Gucci’s image, statements from Kering are anticipated later today. According to a different source, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of Kering, is thinking about changing the direction of the company’s flagship brand.
As happened at Bottega Veneta, it wouldn’t be the first time that Kering itself would undergo an internal restructuring. Even though Michele’s final fashion presentation in September was one of the most significant of the SS23 season, Pinault might attempt to achieve the same with Gucci. Giannini, who departed the firm a week prior, was replaced by Michele by Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri.The honeymoon with Bizzarri, according to one source, “is ended and the connection is no longer as strong as previously,” though. The absence of Michele at the reprise of Gucci’s Cosmogonie show in Seoul, which was postponed following the horrific events in the South Korean capital, on Nov. 1 may be telling. By the first quarter of 2018, Gucci had increased more than 35 percent for five straight quarters since his appointment as creative director in 2015. This led Bizzarri to set the brand’s revenue goal at 10 billion euros in June of that same year.
Even while organic sales increased in the third quarter, Kering announced last month that Gucci continues to perform poorly in comparison to the other brands in the business. After a 4 percent growth in the second quarter, sales for the Italian brand increased to 2.6 billion euros, up 9 percent on a like-for-like basis. This fell just short of analysts’ projections of a 10% growth in revenue.Comparatively, LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s fashion and leather goods segment saw an organic sales growth of 22% in the third quarter. Bizzarri had taken over as Gucci’s CEO in 2015, at the time. It seemed evident that Alessandro Michele should be hired to turn around Gucci’s faltering sales. Despite Gucci’s significant adjustments, things don’t appear all that different from 2015.