February 27, 2024

Gucci in Perspective Between Echoes of the Past and Whispers of the Future

Born in Naples, Sabato De Sarno was appointed by the Kering group as the Creative Director of Gucci (January 2023), bringing forth a fresh and exciting perspective that marks a clear departure from the previous collections led by Alessandro Michele. In his highly anticipated runway for the Spring Summer 2024 collection, De Sarno invites us to immerse ourselves in a universe of minimalism and practicality, triggering a wave of mixed reactions on social media.

Since his youth, De Sarno’s passion for fashion has been a constant in his life. His journey in the industry began at Prada, moved to Dolce & Gabbana, and eventually becoming the right-hand man to Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino for seven years. Finally, he landed in one of the most iconic fashion houses globally: Gucci.

De Sarno’s Spring Summer Gucci 2024 collection, at first glance, can be interpreted as a tribute to austere practicality, generating contrasting reactions on social media. To fully comprehend this collection, it is necessary to delve into the current social context and conduct a detailed inspection of each garment, meticulously analyzing every component.

After Alessandro Michele’s exceptional work at the house of Gucci where eccentricity was the essence of his design, the resulting impact produced reports of stagnant sales and declines in stock prices. However, we cannot solely accuse Michele for this situation. During the initial years of his tenure, the brand experienced enviable popularity, thanks to the undeniable talent of the designer. This scenario was reinforced by a new social consciousness where consumers, weary of global design saturation marked by logomania and overloaded designs and eccentric costumes more than necessary for everyday wear, collectively expressed dissatisfaction. This led to a decrease in sales for several luxury brands, and the concept of sporting a “full look” from a single brand was deemed distasteful due to excessive ornamentation, broadly speaking.

This transformation gave rise to new trends, such as “Old Money” style or the “linen child”, where elegance merges with practicality, moving away from logo-laden elements.

Today’s consumer seeks both design and functionality. The pandemic brought us closer to comfort, and the new consumer desires the ability to wear luxury without the need to proclaim it blatantly. 

In this context, the brilliance of Sabato De Sarno is evident in his collection. Not only does it meet the standards of practicality and elegance, but it also surprises with original design details, such as zipper charms on the inside or the use of soft and glossy leather in skirts for enhanced comfort. For the creative director, the essence of design resides in the details.

De Sarno’s inaugural collection not only embodies an antagonistic doctrine to Michele’s eclecticism but also transports us to the elegant collections of the golden eras when Tom Ford led the Maison in the nineties. Another clear manifestation of reclaiming the past is the Jackie 1961 Bag; although it is a timeless accessory for the brand, we see it standing out as the cherry on top this season, presented in a vibrant red shade crafted by Gucci, with an intensity that evokes the freshness of freshly applied rouge.

Undoubtedly, this change was necessary for both the brand and the audience. Sabato De Sarno’s proposal for Gucci reflects the evolution of consumer taste towards practical elegance, setting a new course that promises to resonate in the fashion industry.