Gucci’s Alessandro Michele: Music’s Favorite Visionary

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When the relatively unknown Alessandro Michele was named creative director of Gucci in 2015, no one was more surprised than himself. Two years later, his signature florals, metallic pastels and romantic undertones are all what has shaped Gucci into the powerhouse it is today. Michele is now a household name whose designs have captivated his entire audience.

 

The 43-year-old who originally hails from Rome resides on the opposite side of the spectrum of former creative director, Frida Giannini, who took the brand down a much more modern, sophisticated path.

 

Michele has a quirky personal style and complete anonymity. Taking inspiration from all things delicate and a sort of beauty that can only be described as spiritual, Michele has given the fashion community an entirely new look.

 

“It’s not easy to live now,” Michele says in his interview with Hamish Bowles of Vogue. “I think we need to dream. So I wanted to present an idea of something romantic, in dream time like in a movie.”

 

A “renaissance rock n’ roll” is the only summary deemed appropriate by Vogue for his latest collections. Dubbed a fashion rule-breaker, little variation appears in each collection year after year, yet somehow each one continues to be just as mesmerizing as the last.

 

Eccentric, fearless and observant, Michele is not too far off from the modern day rock star. This may explain his growing popularity among some of the biggest musical artists at the moment. Harry Styles is an avid wearer of Michele’s designs, worn with enough Jagger-esque confidence to sky-rocket him to one of the best dressed men of the moment.

 

Another notable name frequently spotted in Gucci is Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, who also serves as brand ambassador and longtime muse of Michele’s.

 

Among a plethora of other big music names one major standout is Jared Leto, a close friend of Michele, whose devotion to the brand got him the title of Gucci spokesperson. Leto adopts the “more is more” approach to piling on piece after piece in one ensemble like a walking billboard for the brand.

 

Among dozens of others who have famously stepped out in Michele’s signature designs are Madonna, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and unsurprisingly, Gucci Mane.

 

Kent State sophomore fashion design major Hannah Weber admires Michele’s transcendent and unique style, frequently taking inspiration from him in her everyday life.

 

“[Alessandro] creates these dreamlike worlds that are so easy to get lost in,” Weber says. “It’s very refreshing from the typical street styles that are becoming so common with designers lately.”

 

Weber believes his standout looks are so popular among young consumers today because of their want to stand out from the crowd.

 

With his heavy appeal to a youthful, more contemporary audience, Michele has caught the attention of manufacturers who frequently attempt to make counterfeit designs. These manufactures, like Forever 21 for example, try to appeal to a wider range of consumers who typically may not be able to afford the high-fashion label.

 

Nowadays, it’s easy to see just how much of an influence Michele has had on current trends in general. It’s no surprise to walk into a store and see those all too recognizable floral embroideries, animal appliques and signature Gucci stripes.

 

We can’t predict what new creations Alessandro Michele will conjure up in the future, but with no doubt, he will continue to trailblaze his own path with each collection more distinct and innovative than the last, proving his reigning spot as a true renaissance man.

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The Career Closet: Creating a Fashionable Community of Professionals

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The Women’s Center held a reception on Sept. 15 to celebrate the opening of its program, Career Closet. Career Closet is an on-campus program that provides free professional clothing to female students at Kent State.

The Career Exploration and Development Center, Women’s Center and Launch Net collaborated to create the program, which runs out of the Women’s Center.

Career Closet officially opened last March, but due to a massive influx of donations, the Women’s Center thought a grand reopening was in order. The reception featured snacks, tables of different student organizations and guest speaker Lynette Begue-Lavery, an image consultant with over 25 years in the business of professional image building.

Begue-Lavery says that within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, they have already formed an opinion of you, and 55 percent of that is based on appearance.

“Image does matter,” she emphasized while explaining that what’s on the outside counts too.

That statement is exactly why Career Closet was formed. The goal of Career Closet is to give students the opportunity to present themselves in a professional manner regardless of income, says Alicia Robinson, assistant director of the Women’s Center.

Robinson says that even if someone isn’t classified as low income, they can still fall on hard times, and Career Closet is there to take financial burdens off of students. She also wants to remove the stigma of taking free clothes.

“We don’t want people to think ‘oh I have to sneak in,’” Robinson says. “Because you have to come here doesn’t mean that you’re less than; anybody can come.”

Robinson says that the program is also intended to help the forgetful college student who may not think about the importance of looking professional while balancing all of their other demands.

Sophomore fashion merchandising student Cheyenne Moore thinks that professional clothes aren’t something that college kids usually remember because they don’t fit their personal style.

“I like to wear what makes me feel good,” Moore says. “[Professional clothing] is not always like that.”

Being part of a professional atmosphere is also not something many freshmen have an experience with.

Freshmen nursing majors Tessa George and Calista Chapman say Career Closet came in the nick of time. Being right out of high school, they don’t own any of the clothes Career Closet has to offer.

“There’s some good stuff down there,” Chapman says. “I actually have a class that I need to have nice clothes for, so this came at the perfect timing.”

Career Closet is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and students can pick up three or four pieces at a time. To help students find some inspiration, A Magazine styled a few of our favorite pieces from the closet at the intersection of fashion and function.  

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