"These rumours are self-generated, and even engaged Francois Henri Pinault, who came to Rome and told me they were not true. Actually, he was concerned that the rumours would not let me work serenely," she said. "We don't want to [officially] deny such absurd rumours stemming from nothing. It would be stupid. There is good harmony, although we know it's a delicate moment for the markets."
"If you ask me if I will be here at 60, I would say no," she added. "I think that at a certain point there must be a change and you have to make room for the new and younger generations."
As well as revealing that expanding the Gucci Premiere couture line and adding a homewares offering were on her brand agenda, the designer spoke passionately about the non-profit elements of the Gucci world - including Chime for Change, and a 10-year-old partnership with UNICEF, which has so far raised more than €13 million.
"We are investing more time and resources in activities that we believe in. Obviously, without the company's support none of this would exist. François-Henri Pinault is very sensitive to all this and he is the first to motivate you and ask for suggestions," she told WWD. "It's a drop in the ocean, but it's now part of my job to give back."