Guccio Gucci was just 16 years old when he opened his first shop on Via Vigna Nuova.
Add to that, screenplay-worthy family feuds, a near-bankruptcy, reversals of fortune, and even a murder — the last having provided the grist for Ridley Scott’s upcoming “House of Gucci,”Star-studded cast, including Adam Driver and Lady Gaga.
From migrant worker, to luxury brand founder
Guccio Guccio was born March 26, 1881 to a leather goods producer. In his teens, Guccio Guccio worked among other jobs at The Savoy Hotel in London in late 1890s as a bellboy. Guccio Guccio was first inspired by the exquisite luggage of the hotel guests.
He eventually returned to Florence to work for a local luggage company to sharpen his skills.
Years later, Gucci opened his first leather goods store in Florence, producing luxury leather travel goods for Italy’s wealthy upper classes, and equestrian equipment — the latter influenced by conversations about polo and racing that he’d overheard at The Savoy.
During WWII, when a League of Nations embargo against Italy caused a leather shortage, Gucci drew on his resourcefulness, and created luggage made from woven hemp featuring the brand’s now signature print — a series of interconnecting dark brown diamonds on a tan background.
The Gucci logo. (Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA/epa/dpa/picture alliance)
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Other Gucci hallmarks were also created over the decades, including the bamboo handle handbag, double-G Monogram, the Gucci stripe, which consists of a red line between two green stripes and the Gucci loafer, with the metal horsebit clasp.
Italy and beyond
After WWII, Guccio’s sons — Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo — came onboard and opened more stores within and outside Italy, spurring Gucci’s fortunes.
Aldo, for example, oversaw the opening at the Savoy Plaza Hotel of Gucci’s first New York shop in 1953. Guccio, founder, died 15 days later. But the brand continued to make waves at New York City.
One of its handbags was renamed “the Jackie”Jackie Kennedy, one of the city’s most famous residents, was seen carrying this model.
In 1985, the Gucci Horsebit Loafer was inducted into The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent Collection. It was worn by Madonna at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards and Brad Pitt in 1999. “Fight Club.”
Behind the scenes, however things weren’t always so great at the House of Gucci.
In-fighting among Guccio siblings, tax evasion accusations, poor management, flagging Sales and the headline-grabbing assassination of Maurizio, Guccio’s grandson, and former Guccio head, was a common theme in the 70s and 80s.
After the company was bought by Investcorp, a Bahrain-based company in 1993, the family would eventually lose all their stakes. It was later purchased by French group PPR (now Kering SA), and its CEO Francois-Henri Pinault, a Mexican actress Salma Hayek.
Hayek is part of the star-studded cast for the Ridley Scott film. “House of Gucci,”It focuses on the events that led to the murder of Maurizio Guicci (played in the film by Adam Driver), orchestrated and executed by his ex-wife PatriziaReggiani (Lady Gaga).
Having enjoyed a glitzy lifestyle, Maurizio eventually left Patrizia in favor of his mistress Paola Franchi. Patrizia and her accomplices, which included a self-confessed witch named Auriemma, portrayed by Hayek, were later found guilty and sentenced to several year imprisonment each.
From sex appeal and genderlessness fashion
However, Maurizio Guicci made a pivotal decision before his untimely demise: he enlisted American citizens. designerTom Ford serves as the brand’s creative chief.
Ford is often credited for injecting the brand with a lot of sex appeal, even in its sometimes scandalous advertisements.
Ford is the man behind the creation of fashionGucci stood out in the midst of the grunge of 1990s and was transformed into a billion dollar business, cementing its reputation as an iconic brand. “it” fashion brand.
Ford left big shoes to fill, and his successors Alessandra Facchinetti and Frida Giannini did contribute to the brand’s evolution — though not as exceptionally as he did.
Gucci has evolved fashionFrom 2000 to 2019. (Farinacci Zenarro/FashionPPS/ANSA/epa/Zuma/dpa/picture alliance)
Alessandro Michele, a former employee of the hotel, arrived in 2015. fashionHouse amongst other things as a handbag designer, was named creative director. His recent genderless take on fashion — especially men’s fashion — has led to Gucci’s revival.
For instance, Michele dressed Jared Leto — who incidentally portrays Paolo Gucci in the film — in a red Gucci evening gown, accessorized with a model of his own head for the 2019 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.
British singer Harry Styles was the first man to grace American Vogue’s cover. He wore a periwinkle Gucci dress and a dark jacket, also designed by Michele.
Beloved: From hipsters to Instagrammers
Gucci is a brand that is highly regarded in pop culture. Lil Pump’s 2017 hit “Gucci” demonstrates this. “Gucci Gang”The brand has been mentioned 53 times by one person alone.
Gucci’s connection to hip hop goes back to the 1980s when Harlem was founded. designerDaniel Day a.k.a Dapper Da created knockoffs for Eric B. and Rakim by customizing track jackets with Gucci’s monogram for their debut album. “Paid in Full.”
The brand recently collaborated in a special 100-year celebration with Dapper Dan.
Gucci has gained a new market with the recent revival of 1990s trends: the millennials. Gucci’s double-G logo is almost impossible to miss on social media. As a nod towards the trappings 21st century, Gucci Kids Playground is the first app dedicated exclusively to children’s wear.