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The Expressive and the Essential: New Directions in Fashion

Sabato De Sarno inspires us with a focus on the essential over the eccentric, crisp in construction and minimalist in aesthetic. 
Sabato De Sarno inspires us with a focus on the essential over the eccentric, crisp in construction and minimalist in aesthetic. 

With dynamic personality of expression, whether sleek and streamlined or robust and ornate, fashion lives with us as our second skin, declaring who we are and how we wish to move through the world, affecting our emotions, regulating our comfort, and communicating our preferred style, elemental to our daily lives and tailored to our desires. As the new Creative Director of Gucci, Sabato De Sarno is no stranger to helping people be more themselves through this second skin they wear, inspiring us with a focus on the essential over the eccentric, crisp in construction and minimalist in aesthetic. With his inaugural show titled Ancora that opened on the streets of Milan, outside the Accademia di Brera, a historic fine arts university, De Sarno unleashed a new direction for the prestigious brand, one connected to the discoveries one encounters in the city with a return to classic, though at times unexpected, forms.     

A graduate of Milan’s Istituto Secoli, De Sarno spent 20 years in the fashion industry, first at Prada where he worked as a pattern maker and developed a distinct passion for coats, then at Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, cultivating fortitude behind the scenes with technical expertise in the art of making high quality, emotionally riveting designs. Growing up in a small village outside of Naples, this reflective, imaginative romantic never dreamed he would one day take the reigns of the House of Style at Gucci yet promises to make waves with thought provoking work that enriches the lived experience of those it adorns. His first pieces, which made an appearance in Ancora, made the most of his own rich heritage and the high-quality craftsmanship and distinguished taste that Italian legacy represents. One is a coat, true to De Sarno’s love for them, an uncluttered take on garments with a definable shape and an unmistakable Gucci striped grosgrain ribbon trimming the vent on the back. Other silhouettes in his collection focused on short hems, with built-in shorts that glance coquettishly beneath mini skirts, and classic items reimagined for everyday wear, like the Jackie bag in softer leather.       

While the fashion arrested the spotlight at Ancora, a merging of music and art also bolstered the brand’s mark as a space for cultured style and impressive vision, with songs from Mark Ronson encouraging viewers to dance and a nearby gallery show that featured four young Milan-based artists alongside De Sarno’s self-prescribed “love letter to Milan”, a publication titled Gucci Prospettive N.1. With these efforts and the enlightened stories they tell, De Sarno hopes that Gucci becomes a brand to fall in love with all over again – and hence why he named the show Ancora, which is “again” in Italian. According to De Sarno, “It means again, but it’s also more personal; it’s not something you lost, it’s something that you still have, but you want more of it because it makes you happy.” As Gucci embarks on this awakening journey of the novel and the essential, we look forward to discovering the new ways it encourages us to embrace our second skin, reimagining the moments of life with designs that inspire confidence, elegance, and individuality.

January 2024

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