Author: Adam

Alessandro Michele: A New American Designer

Alessandro Michele: A New American Designer

Alessandro Michele Leaves Gucci for a Higher Purpose in France, Gets an Unexpected Assist

For the last several months, the name Alessandro Michele has been a topic of conversation across the fashion world. After creating and selling Gucci’s iconic capsule collections, and then his own label, Michele has become a fashion icon and a role model for young American designers. He’s worked with the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, and his designs are often inspired by cultural icons–like the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe.

In the spring of 2011, Michele was asked to join the creative team at Dior, and he quickly decided that he’d wanted to leave Gucci for the last six years.

Gucci in 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

“I think a lot of young designers make a promise that they will be there for five years, but maybe when you realize the reality you fall back into your old habits,” Michele told PEOPLE at Paris Fashion Week. “I wasn’t happy at Gucci. I think I was more unhappy than I thought: I loved Gucci. I loved Gucci when the Gucci people were there, and when they weren’t, I wanted to leave and build something of my own.”

In 2013, Michele joined the Dior team as head of creative. He decided against doing fashion and oversaw a number of Dior’s upcoming collections, including the first collaboration with Calvin Klein in his first season as creative director.

“I was doing Dior, then all of sudden I realized I had to do something else,” he says. “I had to do something creative.”

And the fashion world loved his work, giving Michele an estimated $35 million contract — he’s now signed to design eight collections with Dior.

“I want to change the world. I want to create something of a real difference,” Michele tells PEOPLE. “I see the world as a giant chessboard, and I see my creative responsibility, which is to make a change. The question is, how to create a change? So I want to bring back the idea of craftsmanship, I want to bring back simplicity and elegance, and I want to change the beauty of the world.”

“Some people think I’m changing the world because I’m so young, but on the contrary, I’m changing it because of my age. When I was young, I was thinking about the

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