What to expect from Alessandro Michele at Valentino 

What to expect from Alessandro Michele at Valentino 

by Ollie Cox
3 min

Fashion’s game of Creative Director musical chairs seems to have settled … for now, but that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t capable of keeping us on our toes. And that’s exactly what Alessandro Michele did when he surprised us with an unannounced Valentino Resort 2025 collection just as Milan Fashion Week was coming to a close. 

So far, Michele appears to be designing in perfect equilibrium with the House codes, nodding to the archives, and staying true to his signature design tropes. For many, Valentino’s Resort 2025 collection felt like a welcome breath of fresh air, with many hoping for more of the Roman designer’s radical maximalism, gender fluidity, and culture-carving approach to celebrity (cough cough Harry Styles, A$AP Rocky, Billie Eilish, and half of Hollywood). Keep reading to see what we expect from Alessandro Michele’s tenure at the Valentino. 

A return to Valentino’s ‘70s streak 

Nods to the 1970s permeate Michele’s work, with previous collections paying homage to Italian designers who were massive in the era, including Emilio Pucci and Roberto Capucci. The decade was also a time of Valentino domination as brand founder Valentino Garavani first carved a name for himself with his brand of “jet set chic.” It was the era that Garavani formed a friendship with Jackie Kennedy, and animal prints and patterned fabrics were the go-to for the Valentino wearer relaxing in Capri. Given the glimpses of animal print we saw in Michele’s first collection for the Maison, we think there’s going to be more ‘70s-rooted references on the cards.

Killer couture 

When it was announced that Michele was going to Valentino, the possibility of Michele’s couture got everyone talking. Valentino presented its first couture show in 1962 at the Pitti Palace in Florence, a move that quickly caught the attention of well-dressed women around the world. Now, the Maison’s couture collections are shown in Paris—the home of Haute couture. The combination of Michele’s theatrics, beautifully curated maximalism, and access to Valentino’s suppliers is sure to cook up the perfect couture storm when it debuts next year. 

A new approach to celebrity 

Alessandro Michele and the world of celebrity go hand in hand. During his tenure at Gucci, he was behind those viral Harry Styles tour outfits, dressed A$AP Rocky in a custom kilt, and jeans for the Met Gala, and regularly kitted out Jarred Leto. But rather than dressing these celebrities in ready-to-wear, the outfits were custom-made, often crazy, and always talked about, creating a funnel that led to RTW sales. And it worked; In March 2017 the House reported a first-quarter revenue increase of 51%, its strongest in 20 years.  Between 2015 and 2022 (when Michele exited Gucci) revenue at Gucci more than doubled, surpassing $10 billion.  

Rockstuds everywhere 

Michele doesn’t do things by half, and with minimalism off the table, a full-throttle revamp of the Rockstud range could be on the cards. The Valentino Rockstud has been a part of the Maison’s footwear and accessories range since 2010, inspired by the rustic facades of palaces in Rome, being rooted in the House’s history, and adding a ruggedness to Valentino’s romance. Given the maximalist standout nature of the motif, it feels right at home in Michele’s design inventory. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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