Alessandro Michele

NEW HEIGHTS: Known for enlivening the fashion scene, Alessandro Michele is now also taking on high jewelry.

The designer will guide Gucci into the realm of high jewelry, with the launch of its first collection next summer, Kering chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault said in an interview with Le Figaro.

Under Michele’s artistic direction, the luxury powerhouse has been fueling soaring growth at Kering, which also owns high-end jeweler Boucheron and watch label Girard-Perregaux, along with a broad stable of fashion brands.

“The large names in ready-to-wear turn to high jewelry when they feel ready. You need maturity in order to approach this sector,” Pinault said, according to the French daily.

The 200 pieces of jewelry from the debut collection will be made in Italy and infused with colored stones, he added.

“The extraordinarily rich and quite unique universe of Alessandro Michele lends itself well today [to the realm of high jewelry]. The jewelry sets he is creating for Gucci will take their place naturally on the market,” predicted Pinault.

The sector stands out as a “very special category” in the market for luxury goods, Luca Solca, head luxury analyst with Exane BNP Paribas wrote in a recent research note. The analyst expects luxury labels to expand their business in the category, with growth in demand supported by multiple factors.

Gucci ceo Marco Bizzarri, at an investor day in June, set a medium-term goal for the brand to reach 10 billion euros in annual revenues.

The label, which pioneered fashion watches in the Seventies, has infused its fashion jewelry with house references from Michele’s extravagant styles.

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