Fashion News Alert: Raf Simons Closes Label, Kanye West’s Alleged Misconduct at Adidas, and Alessandro Michele Leaves Gucci


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Adidas AG recently announced they will conduct a probe into Kanye West’s misconduct while they were in partnership with West. In October, the German sporting goods megabrand ended their relationship with Kanye West.

Adidas recently received an anonymous letter that detailed West’s inappropriate conduct with Adidas staff and employees during his tenure with the megabrand. West’s misconduct was also recently reported in Rolling Stone magazine with interviews from a dozen former Yeezy and Adidas employees.

“It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true,” an Adidas spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters. “However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations.”

This probe was first reported by London’s Financial Times. Kanye West could not be reached for comment.

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Another one bites the dust

After 27 years Raf Simons is shuttering his namesake label, which he established in 1995. Though Raf Simons creatively helmed major fashion brand other than his namesake label, from Jil Sander and Dior to Calvin Klein and most recently Prada, Simons’ eponymous brand was quietly very influential.

Though it is still unclear the reasons Simons is closing his label, some fashion insiders believe that Simons wants to concentrate more on his duties at Prada. Other insiders contend that market forces are behind the brand’s closing.

“I lack the words to share how proud I am of all that we have achieved,” he wrote. “Thank you all, for believing in our vision and for believing in me.”

The brand’s spring 2023 showing was the last fashion show and collection that will be produced by the brand. Many of Simons’ fashion confreres—Marc Jacobs, Mugler’s Casey Cadwallader, Richard Quinn, Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy, Joseph Altuzarra, Supriya Lele, and Grace Wales Bonner—expressed regret that the brand was shuttering their doors and support for Raf Simons.

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Ciao Alessandro

It has been confirmed that Alessandro Michele is leaving Gucci as the brand’s creative director. There have been rumors for some time that Michele was not coming up to par at the iconic Italian brand. And slow sales since the beginning of the year seem to prove that perspective.

“There are times when paths part ways because of the different perspectives each one of us may have. Today an extraordinary journey ends for me, lasting more than twenty years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion. During this long period Gucci has been my home, my adopted family. To this extended family, to all the individuals who have looked after and supported it, I send my most sincere thanks, my biggest and most heartfelt embrace.” explained the creative director in a press release, sent out late Wednesday evening by the Kering group, as reported in

“I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Alessandro at the end of 2014, since then we have had the pleasure to work closely together as Gucci has charted its successful path over these last eight years.” said Marco Bizzarri, president and CEO of Gucci in the press release. “I would like to thank him for his 20 years of commitment to Gucci and for his vision, devotion, and unconditional love for this unique House during his tenure as creative director.”

Though Alessandro Michele experienced some incredible highs during his seven years at the helm of Gucci, since the COVID-19 pandemic, Michele hasn’t been able to get the brand back on track.  Some insiders withing the fashion industry feel that Michele is not the creative director to take Gucci into the future. Gucci is the powerhouse of the Kering group, achieved sales of 9.73 billion euros in 2021, up 31%, accounting for more than half of the group’s revenue and three quarters of its operating profit. 

“After seven years at the helm of Gucci’s creative engine, it may well be time for a change, and there seems to be a consensus among institutional investors that a new approach is needed to revive the brand,” they said, adding that “overall, the notion of a change in creative direction at Gucci is likely to be viewed positively,” explained an analyst at RBC.

—William S. Gooch


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