The introduction of Gucci’s new designer, Sabato de Sarno, was a challenging endeavor, with the added pressure of a last-minute venue change. Despite these obstacles, de Sarno’s debut during Milan Fashion Week demonstrated his confidence and composure as he took the stage. Originally slated for an outdoor location in Milan’s lively Brera district, the threat of rain led to a sudden relocation to the iconic Gucci Hub, previously associated with the highly successful former creative director, Alessandro Michele. Michele’s tenure had seen Gucci’s profits soar, making it a benchmark in the fashion industry.
Attire That Speaks Volumes
it was De Sarno’s designs that took center stage, captivating a celebrity-studded audience that included Julia Roberts, Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain, Kendall Jenner, and Julia Garner. De Sarno named his collection “Gucci Ancora,” an Italian phrase with dual interpretations, signifying both ‘still’ and ‘again.’ Leveraging his twenty years of experience acquired at Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, and Valentino, the 40-year-old designer set out to reenvision Gucci’s well-established design concepts.
The collection showcased a blend of finely crafted short suits, patent babydoll dresses, metallic fringed skirts, pencil skirts, and gray hoodies. Sailor-style knits embellished with jewel-studded collars highlighted the adaptability of a high-low wardrobe. In contrast to Michele’s conspicuous maximalism with retro influences, De Sarno opted for a more subdued approach. The iconic red and green webbing discreetly embellished a precisely tailored wool coat, while the reimagined Bamboo and Jackie bags, dating back to 1947 and 1961, respectively, made a remarkable entrance.
Rosso Ancora: A Historical Tribute
A noteworthy feature of the lineup was the rich and multi-dimensional oxblood red, known as “Rosso Ancora.” This luxurious hue, skillfully fashioned in embossed patent leathers, served as an homage to The Savoy hotel’s elevator in London. It’s a place where Gucci’s founder, Guccio Gucci, once worked as a porter during the late 1800s. The collection also introduced platform loafers adorned with the iconic horsebit, set to achieve cult status. These loafers came in glossy and monogrammed leather options and were paired with most of the 55 looks.
The Tale of Objects
Describing the collection in his show notes, De Sarno characterized it as “a narrative of objects—shiny, tactile, and cool to the touch but warm to the heart and soul.” These pieces were intended to be cherished, not just as museum pieces but to enhance everyday life.
Crafting a Vision
Handpicked by Kering, the owner of Gucci, in January, De Sarno officially stepped into his role in late July. Within a short span, he introduced a teaser campaign featuring his longtime friend and fashion icon, Daria Werbowy. This campaign prompted speculation about whether De Sarno would embrace a highly sexualized aesthetic reminiscent of the Tom Ford Gucci era. However, it turned out to be a diversion. De Sarno’s style leans more towards peacoats and pencil skirts. The ornate crystal designs were inspired by the embroidery found on clutch bags from the 1960s in Gucci’s archive.
An Unveiling of Thoughtful Design
De Sarno’s thoughtful approach in developing his vision for the brand is apparent. He introduced a collection that was not only highly wearable but also struck a chord with devoted Gucci fans from different generations.