Now that Gucci has confirmed the exit of Creative Director Frida Giannini in February and CEO Patrizio di Marco on January 1, the question remains: Who will be Giannini’s replacement at the Kering-owned fashion house? Since Page Six dropped the bomb on Friday, five names have been tossed in a hat as serious contenders with one favored front-runner. Here’s the short list so far.
Givenchy’s creative director has been touted for some time as the top candidate for the job. After almost a decade at the helm of Givenchy, he’s invigorated sales with his goth-sexy aesthetic, breathed new life into the accessories realm and brought plenty of star power from A-listers like Kimye and Julia Roberts, who recently covered the brand’s latest campaign. But there’s one major glitch. His contract with the LVMH-owned brand locks him in until October 2015.
Since 2008, Dundas has been credited with shaking up the house of Emilio Pucci with a darker, more rock ‘n’ roll inspired edge that’s catching the attention of a younger demographic — the same set that you may find canvassing Gucci boutiques. In March, Pucci’s CEO Alessandra Carra announced her resignation, sparking a rumor that Dundas wasn’t far behind. LVMH CEO and Chairman Pierre-Yves Roussel, however, squashed the chatter with the following statement to WWD: “He has a contract, and he’s not leaving Pucci.”
After four years at the helm of Hermes, Lemaire parted ways with the French luxury label in July to focus on his own line. During his stint at Hermes, his collections were well-received commercially and editorially. (Upon his exit, ready-to-wear and accessories were up 16 percent.) But his strength at Hermes for presenting understated style over in-your-face fashion may be his weakness at a house like Gucci.
He’s young, he’s talented and he’s one of Kering’s rising stars. In January 2013, Kering acquired a 51 percent stake in the London-based brand — a significant move as it had been years since a major luxury conglomerate took on an emerging designer. On the downside, there’s the issue of Kane’s lack of experience, especially in the accessories market, as well as the growth of his own label. Kane would likely be biting off more than he could chew if he were to head both brands.
Eight months after investing in Kane, Kering bought a minority stake in Altuzarra. The New York-based designer has proven his skill season after season. He’s stocked in all the right stores, scooped up high-profile prizes and has been championed by industry influencers like Carine Roitfeld and Jenna Lyons for his sexy, bodycon silhouettes. What’s more, Altuzarra studied under Tisci at Givenchy and has been quoted by The Business of Fashion as being “obsessed with that whole Tom Ford era of Gucci.”