The wider luxury industry is showing lacklustre growth of between 1 per cent to 2 per cent on a constant currency basis, according to industry lobby Altagamma. Chinese and US shoppers have pulled back over economic uncertainty, while fears of terrorist attacks have hit luxury tourism and shopping in Europe.
Mr Bizzarri describes Mr Michele's appointment as a "kind of magical thing. It was risky, of feeling and emotion, but born from a strong knowledge of the sector," he says.
The Gucci chief has a reputation among peers as a strong manager of creative talent. He looked beyond the shortlist prepared for him, he says, because he wanted a creative force who was rich in ideas but scant on attitude. Mr Michele, he says, has remained "very normal, and humble" despite his success.
"Creative directors can be egocentric, they say. I decide, they shout at people and harass," he says. "I don't want that. If you have a culture of respect creativity flows. You create this energy and then people have more desire to take risks."
Mr Bizzarri says the biggest risk he has taken in the past two years was spending "billions - not millions - of euros" investing in the company.
The money was spent on putting the new range into Gucci's 500 stores in a matter of weeks and after the first catwalk show, as well as overhauling the group's communications strategy and the look of its shops.
In the Gucci office, a richly coloured painting of Mr Bizzarri and Mr Michele, looking like two figures in a stained-glass window, leans against one wall. Mr Bizzarri is wearing his signature outfit of a lean-cut, three-piece black suit. But here Mr Michele's handiwork is evident, too: woven into the black tie is an embroidered golden bee, one of the stylised flora and fauna that featured in his breakout show.
"I have had my head under water for a year - finally I am having fun," says the 6ft 3in Mr Bizzarri, with a big laugh, his long legs stretched out before him. "There is an atmosphere in the company of great energy, and big smiles. You can really see it and breathe it."
He cannot, however, sit back and relax yet.
His looming challenge is to maintain Gucci's momentum in a fashion environment where social media is not only pushing trends more quickly and influencing them in unpredictable ways. It is also influencing millennial women to buy more outfits - spending less on each - so that they have new clothes to show off in selfie shots.
Mr Bizzarri is focused on keeping the group fast and flexible to meet the demand for new looks. The chief, who began his career as a strategy consultant at Accenture in 1986, has ensured data on what is sold in stores goes straight back to production units, so more of what customers like gets made.
Once a social media laggard, Gucci was among the first to Snapchat its shows. Yet while some retailers race to pander to the whims of influential fashion bloggers, he restricts his time on social media. "At a certain point you have to stop reading social," he says. "You cannot make radical changes and [at the same time] be listening to everyone."