As a young man Guccio Gucci spent time working in luxury hotels in both London and Paris. He began to take note of the quality of the luggage that people brought with them when they came to stay in these hotels and found that he couldn’t help but be impressed with what he saw. Upon his return to his native Florence he set up his own fine leather goods shop in 1920. In this shop he used the exceptional quality of materials and skill that his city was so famed for to produce products of incredibly high quality.
In time Guccio Gucci expanded his empire to open additional shops in Florence as well as new stores in Milan and Rome. He was helped in his endeavour by his three sons Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo who encouraged their father to increase the range of products that each store carried to include silks and signature knitwear. These combined perfectly with the high quality leather goods such as luggage, hand bags, shoes and the ornamented loafers that the brand was becoming so well known for. World War II brought with it many shortages and Gucci were forced to produce their hand bags from canvas rather than the leather they usually used. These new canvas hand bags were just as well made and were the first outing of the signature logo of the double Gs that is so well known today.
In 1953 Aldo and Rodolfo Gucci decided to expand the company even further and opened offices in New York. They were soon noticed by the Hollywood stars that were then often photographed modelling the clothing and leather goods that Gucci were fast becoming famous for. This prompted many people to travel to Florence to visit the flag ship store and in the 1950s and 60s the city was the place to see and be seen, especially if you happened to be sporting an item of Gucci clothing or accessories at the time.
This prosperity continued throughout the 1970s and the clothing and accessories were constantly updated and improved with many more lines being introduced and sold quicker than they could be produced. However in the 1980s the Gucci fashion house was hit with family disputes that ended up having devastating consequences.
After Rodolfo Gucci died in 1983, his son named Maurizio took over as president and proceeded to sack his Uncle Aldo who later went on to spend time in jail for tax evasion. However Maurizio was ineffective as president of the Gucci fashion house and in 1988 he was forced to sell the company to Investcorp to save it. Maurizio held on to some stock, but decided to sell his remaining holdings in 1993 thereby ending the involvement of the Gucci family in the famous fashion house.
Today the Gucci fashion house has stores all over the world and the name is synonymous with style and sophistication. They have kept as many of the original ideals of the founder Guccio Gucci as possible and still produce goods made from the best materials to the highest specifications. Their lines have increased to include clothing for men, women and children. As well as the luggage, handbags and shoes that are still incredibly sought after their accessories now include iconic sunglasses and jewelry that are the favorite of many celebrities and film stars. Gucci has earned its place in history and will be around for many years to come.
Teresa Jens loves fashion in all its forms and she shares everything she finds interesting on her blog. She is currently located in Denmark where she works at an optician store, where they sell Gucci sunglasses (in Denmark they use the term Gucci solbriller).