Gucci's Frida Giannini Denies Succession Rumors

Joseph Altuzarra will not be helming Gucci anytime soon.
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Joseph Altuzarra will not be helming Gucci anytime soon.
Frida Giannini at Gucci's fall 2014 runway show. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty

Frida Giannini at Gucci's fall 2014 runway show. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty

When a luxury conglomerate like LVMH or Kering takes interest in a young designer, there is often speculation about that conglomerate's intentions, and where that young designer might eventually go within that company.

Similarly, when a designer stays at the helm of a fashion house for a long time, there is naturally speculation about when and by whom they will be replaced.

As Frida Giannini begins her 10th year designing for Gucci, she reflected on her tenure at the house with WWD on Friday, and addressed rumors about who might be in line to replace her. Apparently, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Joseph Altuzarra (who recently nabbed an investment from Kering) are rumored contenders. Or, they were: “These rumors are self-generated, and even engaged François-Henri Pinault, who came to Rome and told me they were not true," said Giannini. "Actually, he was concerned that the rumors would not let me work serenely.” 

She noted that she has in fact just renewed her contract with Gucci, adding, "There is good harmony, although we know it’s a delicate moment for the markets." (Gucci's sales slipped 2.1 percent last year.)

That said, it doesn't sound like Giannini, who is in her forties and has a child with Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco, will be pulling a Karl Lagerfeld and working until she drops. “If you ask me if I will be here at 60, I would say no. I think that at a certain point there must be a change and you have to make room for the new and younger generations.”

Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that was Givenchy is owned by Kering. It is owned by LVMH.