Gucci’s Renaissance Man

by MR Magazine Staff

Several years ago, Gucci, which started in Florence in the nineteen-twenties as a small leather-goods concern, moved its design headquarters to Rome, where it occupies a grand Renaissance building called the Palazzo Alberini-Cicciaporci. The palazzo was completed around 1520, following a plan ascribed to Raphael, and many art historians discern his touch in the elegantly geometric façade. Other aspects of the building have been attributed to his chief assistant, Giulio Romano, who worked in Raphael’s studio for years before going on to forge the new style of Mannerism. The palazzo’s former chapel—a light-filled chamber with a coffered ceiling that is edged by newly restored frescoes—is now the office of Gucci’s creative director. Since January, 2015, this position has been held by Alessandro Michele, a forty-three-year-old native of Rome, who has worked at Gucci for fourteen years. Before his ascension, he was second-in-command at the company, overseeing its lucrative line of accessories. When Michele took over the chapel-office, he did away with the sleek modernist couches that had been installed there, filling the space instead with his impressive collection of antiques. Read more at The New Yorker.