By COLLEEN BARRY
AP Fashion Writer
MILAN (AP) — Italian designer Sabato De Sarno has been named the new creative director of Gucci, and will unveil his first collection during Milan Fashion Week next September, Gucci and parent company Kering announced Saturday.
De Sarno has previously worked for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, where he was most recently fashion director overseeing both men’s and women’s collections.
“I am delighted that Sabato will join Gucci as the house’s new creative director, one of the most influential roles in the luxury experience,” said Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri, noting his experience “with a number of Italy’s most renowned luxury fashion houses.
Speculation has been rife in the fashion world over who would succeed Alessandro Michele after he stepped down from the role unexpectedly last fall, after nearly eight years in which he redefined the brand’s codes with gender fluid, romantic and eclectic looks.
Like Michele when he was promoted from the in-house team in 2015, De Sarno is a relative unknown in the wider fashion world, having worked primarily behind the scenes.
De Sarno, a native of Naples, will join Gucci as soon as he completes current obligations and will be responsible for all the brand’s collections: women’s, men’s, leather goods, accessories and lifestyle. In the meantime, Gucci collections, including the womenswear Fall-Winter 2023-24 collection to be previewed next month in Milan, are being designed by the in-house team.
De Sarno said he was “touched and excited to contribute my creative vision for the brand,” which he said ”has been able to welcome and cherish the values I believe in.”