Guccio Gucci opens a leather goods workshop and a small luggage store in his hometown, Florence. Having spent many years working at the Savoy Hotel in London, he had absorbed the refined aesthetics of English nobility, and introduced this sensibility in Italy by offering exclusive leather goods created and produced by the master craftsmanship of Tuscan artisans.
Within a few years, the label enjoys considerable success, as it attracts a sophisticated international clientele fond of the collection of bags, trunks, gloves, shoes and belts that were inspired by the equestrian world, as proven by the horsebit and stirrup motifs. In time, these motifs became enduring symbols of the fashion house that was presenting increasingly innovative design aesthetics.
In spite of the lack of standard materials during the difficult years of the Fascist dictatorship in Italy, Gucci established the company with exceptional creativity and resourcefulness, also turning to raw material. The “Bamboo Bag” was introduced in these years, shortly becoming an icon. A favourite of royalty and celebrities, the bag is still available today.
During the 1950s, the trademark ‘green – red – green’ web, inspired by the saddle girth, became a great success and still today is one of the most familiar identifiers of the brand. With stores opening in Milan, New York, London, Palm Beach, Paris, and Beverly Hills, Gucci pursued global presence as a symbol of modern luxury. Guccio Gucci died in 1953. His sons Aldo, Vasco, Ugo and Rodolfo took over the business.
Gucci introduces products that are cherished by the most iconic figures of the time and become renowned for their timeless design. Jackie Kennedy wears a Gucci shoulder bag, known today as the “Jackie O”. Liz Taylor, Peter Sellers and Samuel Beckett enjoy the unstructured, unisex “Hobo Bag”. The classic moccasin with the horsebit hardware becomes part of the permanent collection at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The Flora silk print scarf was created purposely for Grace Kelly by renowned painter Vittorio Accornero. At the end of the 60s, Gucci adopted the legendary interlocking double “G” logo.
Gucci continues its global expansion, faithful to the original aspirations of Aldo, targeting the Far East. Stores open in Hong Kong and Tokyo. The company increases and diversifies production, carrying out significant research on new luxurious materials, with an innovative approach to design, never tilting the legendary quality and craftsmanship, synonymous with the brand. A new factory in Casellina, near Florence, was opened, still today the core of Gucci’s research, development and production activities. Here, the great classics were revamped in new shapes and colours, and new product categories introduced.
In 1982, Gucci became a public limited company and leadership passed to Rodolfo’s son, Maurizio Gucci, who held 50 percent of the shares. In the late 80s, Investcorp, a Bahrain-based investment company, purchased the remaining 50 percent that belonged to Aldo Gucci and his descendants.
Gucci was relaunched to global fame through a groundbreaking mix of tradition and innovation. Tom Ford became creative director in 1994, infusing the luxury brand with a sense of audacity and provocation that resonated with the worlds of celebrities and of the accomplished elite.
Gucci achieves astounding global success and is named the most desirable luxury brand in the world. Frida Giannini, formerly Creative Director of accessories, is named sole Creative Director in 2006. Exploring Gucci’s rich heritage and its incomparable craftsmanship qualities, Giannini creates a unique vision for Gucci that fuses past and present, history and modernity. Key house icons are reinvented in a fresh new guise, including the Flora, La Pelle Guccissima, the New Jackie, and the New Bamboo.