Gucci goes off course, breaks away from historical fashion calendar

Alessandro Michele is continuing to march to the beat of his own drum. And that means ditching the official fashion calendar to reduce Gucci from showing five collections a year to a new biannual cadence.

The two yearly collections will help refocus Gucci’s business and scale down its massive design production amid the global coronavirus pandemic. As the fashion industry works to streamline the future of fashion weeks around the world, many big brands are taking matters into their own hands.

Earlier this month, designers, retail executives and CEOs published an open letter to the industry pleading to make major changes to its current calendar. The ongoing delays of Fall 2020 deliveries due do the pandemic and the excess of producing short-lived collections begs the questions “do we really need more clothes?” and “should fashion designers consider going seasonless?”

Michele, the brand’s creative director, took to Instagram to share a series of diary entries explaining his decision to break away from the fashion calendar noting that “this rush for anything hyper-new makes us forget what we see.”

“These days of confinement, in a suspended time that we can hardly imagine as free, I try to ask myself what is the meaning of my actions. It’s a vital and urgent questioning for me, which demands a careful pause and a delicate listening. It’s trying to name, with the precision of love, my fears and my desires…” the emotional statement began.

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“That is why I decided to build a new path, away from deadlines that the industry consolidated and, above all, away from an excessive performativity that today really has no raison d’être. It’s a foundational act, audacious but necessary, that aims at building a new creative universe. A universe that essentialises itself in the subtraction of events and that oxygenates through the multiplication of sense…” Michele went on. “Two appointments a year are more than enough to give time to form a creative thought, and to give more time to this system…”

Gucci was set to show its Cruise 2021 collection in San Francisco on May 18 but the showing was obviously canceled due to the current events. Michele originally chose the Northern Californian city for its history as a center of liberal activism.

The 48-year-old Italian designer succeeded Frida Giannini after the former creative director was ousted in 2014. Michele’s debut Fall 2015 Gucci collection was the start of a new era in fashion. His quirky spin and gender-bending approach to the legacy house, that was once praised for its Tom Ford-era sex appeal, completely revolutionized the brand DNA of Gucci.

If you enjoyed this article, In The Know also talked about Balenciaga’s return to Haute Couture for the first time in over 50 years.

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