Final January, two months after Alessandro Michele shocked the style world by asserting he was leaving Gucci, a model he had remodeled right into a trendsetter with $10 billion in income in 2022, the corporate named his successor, and that too shocked the style world. Who was this man, Sabato De Sarno, who could be moving into Mr. Michele’s fur-lined, logo-ed Gucci slides?
Little is understood past primary biographical details: Mr. De Sarno began his profession at Prada earlier than transferring to Dolce & Gabbana after which Valentino, the place he spent nearly 14 years, in the end turning into the style director in command of males’s and ladies’s ready-to-wear.
Which is why, after I had the prospect to sit down down with Mr. De Sarno earlier than his first Gucci present, I seized the second to play 21 questions. Here’s what I realized, in edited kind, beneath.
What’s your first reminiscence?
I used to be about 7, within the small village I come from within the countryside, near Naples. I used to be on a Vespa with my grandfather, simply using round, speaking. He died 10 years in the past, and we had been very shut. I’ve his title. When the announcement got here out about Gucci, it made me very emotional as a result of my father stated, “I know Sabato would be very proud to read his name in the magazines.”
What’s your favourite meals?
Eggplant Parmesan from my mom. She is the very best prepare dinner on this planet. She makes use of it to persuade me to go to her in Como, the place they stay now. She says, “If you come home, I can make it for you.” And at all times, she wins. I’m a horrible prepare dinner.
What else are you unhealthy at?
I actually prefer to drive, however folks say I’m a horrible driver. In Rome, I get round on metropolis bikes.
What’s your favourite ice cream taste?
What’s the very first thing you do within the morning?
I’ve a dachshund named Lucia, and he or she likes to sleep near my ft. After I get up, she simply comes up, and we spend two or three minutes cuddling.
Do you sing within the bathe?
Sure, pop music. This morning I used to be singing a tune by Romy from the xx.
How did you have fun your final birthday?
I simply had my fortieth birthday. It was at a nightclub. I really like dance golf equipment. It was on the finish of Valentino, the start of Gucci, and I made a decision to get collectively my colleagues, my household and my pals.
I obtained married 5 years in the past. My husband is a lawyer in Brussels on the European Union. We see one another on weekends. It really works very effectively as a result of once we keep collectively, we actually have high quality time: simply me and him and our canine. We don’t combat fairly often as a result of if we combat, we have to make a peace earlier than leaving. We’re very reverse folks, however I really like that. It offers me the prospect to know various things.
What piece of clothes have you ever had the longest?
A darkish navy employee’s jacket I purchased on Portobello Street after I was 19. It was the primary second I purchased one thing as a bit of my wardrobe. I nonetheless put on it.
Do you’ve gotten a uniform?
White sneakers from the model I’m engaged on, or Converse. Black Levi’s and a black T-shirt in the summertime and black sweater within the winter.
Wait … isn’t that the uniform of Pierpaolo Piccioli, your former boss at Valentino?
It’s the identical as Pierpaolo, however I did it earlier than him. Throughout the day I must make so many choices about garments and styling that I desire one thing that may be very simple. After I journey, I simply pack 5 black T shirts, three trousers. Additionally, I don’t prefer to be too current in locations. I prefer to mix in. However the humorous factor is, I actually love purchasing. I really like to purchase loopy stuff.
What do you purchase?
I simply purchased a whole lot of items of Raf Simons as a result of it’s his final assortment and I really like his shapes and his option to do males’s put on. [Mr. Simons closed his namesake label at the end of 2022.] However then I simply put on it for one hour or two in the home and put it away as a result of I don’t prefer to exit like that. It’s unusual, I do know.
I even have a big assortment of coats. I’ve about 200. I began very early to gather coats. The primary one I purchased was a prototype after I labored at Miu Miu. It appears like a coat, besides it has no pockets.
Do you’ve gotten any tattoos?
4. On my proper forearm, an Ellsworth Kelly flower, as a result of I really like Ellsworth Kelly. On my left wrist, a star, which was the primary one my mom allowed me to get, and the quantity 3, which I obtained with my two good pals and so they even have. Then larger up on that arm, “Ancora,” which I simply obtained.
It means once more. It’s a phrase I exploit quite a bit. Not “again” as previously, however “again” as whenever you get pleasure from one thing and also you need extra. It’s the title of my first assortment for Gucci.
Who was the primary particular person you instructed whenever you obtained the Gucci job?
My husband. It was a really emotional second. We had been crying. He stated, “I knew that it would happen.” I might hardly imagine it. After I put my signature on the contract, I slept with it as a result of I dream quite a bit, and typically after I get up within the morning, I say, “Was it real or not?” However with my hand on the paper, I’d understand it was actual.
What has shocked you about Gucci to this point?
The hugeness of the model. OK, from outdoors you see that, however you don’t actually really feel it till you’ve gotten conferences with each single group around the globe. I’m very open, and I don’t have any system about assembly with my group. I’m Sabato, you simply come within the door.
However I bear in mind the primary week I used to be at Gucci was unusual as a result of nobody talked to me. All of them needed to make appointments. I lastly simply instructed everybody: “OK, I know I’m the creative director, but I was in your role just two weeks before. You don’t have to wait for a meeting.”
What will shock folks about your Gucci?
I feel the very first thing is I’m extra actual. I don’t need to construct one other world. I don’t like units. I like after I see folks on the street with my garments. In reality, the primary present goes to be on the street. Additionally, we have now a brand new model shade: pink. I find it irresistible.
Do you’ve gotten a private motto?
Avanti. Go forward.
What’s your favourite type of train?
I’m not likely a sporty particular person. After I determine to begin a sport, I’m going and purchase all of the stuff to make a pleasant look. I made a decision to swim, for instance, as a result of I began to assume my shoulders had been turning into too hunchy, so I purchased the swimsuit, the nostril plugs, the ear plugs, the towels. However then after three classes … that’s it.
What’s your favourite e book?
It relies on the second. I like Elena Ferrante due to the best way she describes my metropolis, Naples. I’m studying a e book by James Baldwin, “Giovanni’s Room.” And I learn the Obama biographies — Michelle and Barack — on the identical time. He jogs my memory of my husband.
What did your husband offer you in your birthday?
A Cartier Love bracelet. I don’t actually prefer to put on jewellery, however I prefer to put on this.
What’s the finest present you’ve gotten ever given?
I purchased a home for my dad and mom in Como, the place they stay now. Actually, I’m so proud about that. They’re all coming to the present. My household — I’ve two youthful brothers and two nephews — represents to me the place the place I really feel protected and I may be myself.