Back in December, we learned that the Frida Giannini era of Gucci would be coming to an end -- however, that end has been much more abrupt than planned. Giannini was scheduled to stay until the end of February, after the label's fall 2015 womenswear collection was shown in Milan, but the company confirmed Monday that she is no longer with the company.
Not only has Giannini left before that collection's debut, but the label's menswear show is scheduled for Jan. 19. According to a statement sent out by Gucci, both shows will take place as scheduled "thanks to Gucci's talented and dedicated men's and women's design teams."
Gucci's newly appointed CEO, Marc Bizzarri, started at the beginning of the month, and is presumed to be the catalyst for Giannini's premature departure. According to WWD's sources, Giannini was asked to leave so that the company could focus on its new creative direction right away.
The news likely makes Gucci's search for a new creative director even more urgent. In addition to rumored contenders Riccardo Tisci, Joseph Altuzarra, Hedi Slimane, Christopher Kane, Peter Dundas and Christophe Lemaire, WWD says Gucci's current head accessories designer, Alessandro Michele, is also in the running, which makes sense: As the trade points out, Giannini was once a handbag designer for the house and rose through its ranks to become creative director. Plus, the majority of Gucci's profits are made through leather goods. Alternatively, perhaps Michele will simply fill the role in the interim, given Giannini's early departure.
This article was updated to reflect a statement from Gucci about the menswear and womenswear shows.