Alessandro Michele Exits Gucci, Raf Simons Shuts Down, and More of the News You Missed

Alessandro Michele Exits Gucci After 20 Years
there have been lots of changes in the industry this week. After 20 years at Italian luxury house Gucci, Alessandro Michele has abruptly departed as the brand’s creative director. Michele was appointed to the role in 2015, revitalizing the brand by introducing the genderfluid design and quirky signatures, ushering in a new era of dedicated clientele and leading the Kering-owned brand to be valued at over 15 billion euros. Both Gucci and Kering confirmed the exit with Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri saying, “I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014. Since then, we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years. I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion and unconditional love for this unique house during his tenure as creative director.” Michele also wrote a heartfelt message on his Instagram, saying, “There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have. Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals, who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible.” In the interim, ​​Gucci’s head design office will take over Michele’s role until a new creative director is announced. [WWD]

Raf Simons Shuts Down Eponymous Brand
Belgian designer Raf Simons is shutting down his eponymous brand after 27 years. The brand’s last collection was the S/S 23 show during Frieze London. Simons said, “I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved. I am grateful for the incredible support from my team, from my collaborators, from the press and buyers, from my friends and family, and from our devoted fans and loyal followers. Thank you all, for believing in our vision and for believing in me.” Simons launched his label in 1995 and was continuously expanding it while working for luxury fashion houses like Jil Sander, Dior, Calvin Klein, and Prada. [WWD]

The 2023 Woolmark Prize Winners Have Been Announced
The eight finalists of the 2023 International Woolmark Prize have been announced. All coming from diverse backgrounds, the finalists are Rhuigi Villaseñor, founder of Rhude and creative director of Bally; Jaehyung Lee of Maxxij; Anthony Alvarez,founder of Bluemarble; Amalie Roege Hove of the Danish knitwear brand A. Roege Hove; Irish menswear designer Robyn Lynch; Marco Rambaldi from Italy; Lucile Guilmard and Paolina Russo of the label Paolina Russo, and Adeju Thompson, founder of Lagos Space Programme. John Roberts, managing director of the Woolmark Company, said this year’s group “represents the next generation of creative game-changers who all want to design fashion for a better tomorrow.” The theme for this year is “Dialouge,” which reiterates The Woolmark Company’s mission to solidify dialogue and “connect leading design talent with industry players to collectively envision a more sustainable future.”

Each 2023 finalist will receive an initial AU$60,000 (roughly ​​$40,400) for the development of a Merino wool collection and will be guided by the program’s education and mentoring initiative, the Innovation Academy, which includes mentoring from industry leaders, like Holli Rogers, Chief Brand Officer of Farfetch; stylist Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Global Fashion Editor-at-Large at Vogue; Sara Maino, Scouting and Educational Initiatives Advisor Vogue Italia & International Brand Ambassador Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana; Sinéad Burke, Educator and Advocate; Shaway Yeh, Founder of YehYehYeh and Group Style Editorial Director Modern Media Group; and Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large, Business of Fashion. The first winner will be awarded the International Woolmark Prize and receive AU$200,000 ($132,230) “to invest in the development of their business.” The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be awarded to the second finalist, receiving AU$100,000 ($66,115). Finally, The Woolmark Supply Chain Award will be presented to an innovative trade partner in the global wool industry. All finalists will have the opportunity to be stocked at some of the world’s leading stores. This year’s International Woolmark Prize finalists will join a hefty alumni network, including Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino Garavani, Gabriela Hearst, Rahul Mishra, BODE, Matty Bovanand, ’22 winner Saul Nash.

Black in Fashion Fair is Collaborating with the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
The Black in Fashion Fair and the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat have come together to present “Those Who Dress Better,” a fashion presentation that will include black brands Advisry, Bed on Water, Brandon Blackwood, Hanifa, Head of State, Homage Year, Johnny Nelson, Theophilio, and Who Decides War. Starting on December 7th, each piece from the brands will be on display next to the artwork that inspired the design at the Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure© exhibition. You can buy tickets from the exhibition and shop this limited-run capsule collection here. Interviews Model Chol Mabior interviews Chol Mabior about his debut for Etro, wanting to get into acting, and more. Find the interview here. Interviews Photographer Marili Andre interviews photographer Marili Andre about how she got her start, rejecting ‘signatures,’ and the projects that made her feel fuzzy inside. Check out the interview here.

And don’t forget some of this week’s Runway Spotlight coverage:

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