Swiss investment firm Bidayat, a fund controlled by Egypt’s former Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid, has confirmed that it will be bringing back the luxury Italian brand Walter Albini. Who could be behind the comeback? Alessandro Michele.
Despite the Business of Fashion explaining that “Rachid declined to comment on unconfirmed media reports that Alessandro Michele is involved,” many a TikToker are seeing this as bait to start putting two and two together. The speculation started earlier today, as sources such as Vogue Business announced the return of the brand, noting Bidayat’s acquisition of “intellectual property and a substantial part of archives of Italian fashion designer Walter Albini.”
With this in mind, it has lead many to investigate who could be behind the return of the brand. Per Bernard Garby, who reports on luxury fashion at titles such as ELLE, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as on their own TikTok account, “Albini was one of the ‘it’ fashion designers in Italy that was truly on the level of Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, and truly defined post-war Italian fashion and ready-to-wear.”
When Albini died aged 42 in the 1980s, the brand died with him. However, its return could see the archive being a big source of inspiration for its comeback, as is often the way with House resurgences. Notably, this is also well within Michele’s wheelhouse, having transformed Gucci. As Garby continues to explain in his video, “Albini was known for old Hollywood glamor looks. Who could offer that? Michele.”
Garby adds: “Albini was one of the first fashion designers to introduce mixed fashion shows [and] gender-fluid fashion. Michele very recently referenced Albini in one of his interviews about how much he admires his work.”
The speculation continues to grow when you head to Instagram, realizing that the account Walter Albini Archive Official follows Michele — and few others of his stature, bar colette’s Sarah Andelman, Jil Sander’s Lucie Meier, Erdem Moralıoğlu, Iris van Herpen, and Jonathan Anderson.
However, the correlations between Michele’s aesthetic, him being currently out of a job following his departure after seven years at Gucci, and the Walter Albini history book all do point in the right direction. As Garby very prominently points out, “Bidayat is saying ‘no comment’ — never trust anyone who says no comment, because when they say ‘no comment,’ you know there’s a very big comment about to be made.”
Albini’s masterful ways with fabrics saw him work with Etro, while he also knew how to explore the opposite side of fashion with tailoring. In 1967, he presented a collection of 16 suits under his own Mister Fox line, seeing eight in black called “The Widows” and eight in color, called “The Wives.”
Such dark romanticism is another trait of Michele, and as we’ve come to expect from the world of fashion, when a brand comes back from the dead it often does so with a big-name Creative Director. Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga, Glenn Martens for Diesel, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Daniel Fletcher for Fiorucci, even Daniel Lee for Burberry to some extent. Could Alessandro Michele be next?
Stay tuned to Hypebeast for more information as news unfolds.
@bernardgarby #fashionnews #fashion #fashiontiktok #fashiontok #gucci #alessandromichele ♬ original sound – BERNARD
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