Alessandro Michele departing Gucci

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Alessandro Michele is leaving Gucci following an "extraordinary" seven-year stint.

After speculation began to circulate online earlier this week, the Italian fashion designer confirmed on Wednesday that he is departing his role as creative director.

In a statement, Michele thanked his team for their ongoing support.

"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 20 years, within a company to which I have tirelessly dedicated all my love and creative passion," he commented. "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. Together with them I have wished, dreamed, imagined. Without them, none of what I have built would have been possible."

Michele joined Gucci in 2002. After rising up the ranks, he landed the top job in January 2015.

Known for his maximalist aesthetic, the fashion star is credited with overhauling the brand's collections and image.

In light of the decision, Gucci chief executive Marco Bizzarri praised the 49-year-old's commitment to the company.

"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," he added. "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."

Michele's successor has not yet been announced.