As Alessandro Michele’s departure from Gucci continues to shake fashion, industry insiders are setting their sights on the future of the Italian brand. Enter: Twitter’s new favorite guessing game, Who Is Gucci’s Next Creative Director?
Almost immediately after Michele confirmed his exit, onlookers began speculating that Tom Ford — yes, the same Tom Ford that led Gucci from 1994 to 2004 — would return to the brand as creative director. It’s a pretty inconceivable move, given Ford’s well-publicized conflict with the Pinaults, who acquired Gucci via Pinault Printemps Redoute (now Kering) in 1999.
Still, some believe that Ford’s deal with Estée Lauder is indication that the designer is eyeing a move. In fact, a recent report could only confirm that Tom Ford, the designer, would remain creative director of Tom Ford, the brand, through 2023.
Of course, the acquisition isn’t hard evidence that Ford will reprise his role at Gucci. Nostalgia for the designer’s provocative, “porno-chic” aesthetic — one that saved Gucci from near-bankruptcy — seems to be fueling much of fashion’s wishful thinking.
Graces Wales Bonner is another potential successor, at least according to the internet. Given Gucci’s return to separate mens and womenswear shows, the British designer — whose eponymous menswear label has garnered attention from LVMH and the CFDA — seems like a natural contender.
Bonner is also also rumored to replace Virgil Abloh as creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear. The prospect of Gucci and LV duking it out over the 32-year-old talent would indeed make for some juicy industry drama.
Pierre M’Pelé, head of editorial content at GQ France, also got in on the guessing game, eliciting largely negative reactions after suggesting that Jonathan Anderson may be Gucci’s next leader.
“I’m not proposing or affirming anything though,” M’Pelé later clarified. “I’m only matching creative directors with houses from chats I’m having with friends in the industry to see how people would react.”
So, who will it be? Ford? Bonner? Anderson? Someone else entirely? We await the winner of fashion’s latest round of musical chairs with bated breath.