PARIS (AP) — The flamboyant former designer at Gucci, Alessandro Michele, has been named the new creative director at storied Roman luxury house Valentino, following the sudden departure last week of Pierpaolo Piccioli after 25 years.

Valentino — which stages collections in Paris — confirmed the move in a statement Thursday, calling it the “start of a new journey aimed at continuing to see the brand’s unique values, its heritage and its couture codes shine around the world.”

“In his new role, Alessandro Michele will be based in Rome, the creative heart of our house, the city where it was founded in 1960,” the statement said. Michele, 51, left Gucci in 2022, after a widely popular creative tenure.

In a social media post, Michele said it was “a great honor (to be) entering a Maison de Couture that has engraved the word ‘beauty’ in a collective story made of research and extreme grace.”

Founded in Rome in 1960 by Valentino Garavani, the Valentino company is an internationally recognized Italian luxury house, with stores in over 25 countries.

Michele’s debut collection will be unveiled at Paris Fashion Week in September, according to current plans.

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