More bad news for Gucci: Amidst sales slumps and fierce competition from smaller, revamped labels, like Saint Laurent, two of the brand’s biggest players are exiting the company. This morning, WWD reports that CEO Patrizio di Marco and creative director Frida Giannini have stepped down from their positions, leaving some seriously big (fringed, suede, over-the-knee) shoes to fill. The husband and wife have been at the Italian label for five and 12 years, respectively — a lifetime in luxury fashion-house years. The fact that they decided to depart together means a shakeup that the company hasn’t seen since 2003, when Tom Ford left with his business partner, Domenico De Sole.
For more than a decade, Giannini’s been responsible for enlivening the label. In addition to ready-to-wear, she’s spearheaded the brand’s debut haute couture collection, created a children’s line, launched Gucci cosmetics, and created partnerships with organizations like UNICEF to establish Chime for Change. She was also the focus of James Franco’s 2013 Gucci documentary. Although rumors have been swirling about her possible department for months now, Giannini told British Vogue in May that they were all untrue — which makes her choice to step down all the more mysterious.
As for her replacement, WWD reports that Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci is first in line for the role, followed by candidates like Joseph Altuzarra. Whoever it chooses, Gucci will have to make moves on the decision fast — Giannini’s final collection shows in February. (WWD)