Gucci is one of the oldest Italian fashion houses: it dates back to 1921 and it’s still among the most known, appreciated and easily recognizable brands. If the item you’re looking at has a GG logo on it, you know it’s a Gucci!
The founder of the company was Guccio Gucci, who as a young man moved from his town, Florence, to work at the Savoy Hotel in London. There he could observe the refined taste in dressing and the elegance typical of noble class, which impressed him.
When he went back to Florence in 1920 he decided to open some little shops where he sold leather goods. His luggage, gloves and belts, inspired to the equestrian world, combined the elegance that surrounded him in England with Tuscan artisans’ creations.
His shops had a great success among middle class and from Florence, in less than 20 years the Gucci family opened new shops in Milan and Rome, then in Europe and in the 50’s also in the USA, where lots of famous people seemed to appreciate the brand. Jacqueline Kennedy, for example, wore the bag that later was named after her, the Jackie O. The same happened with the Hobo Bag that people like Liz Taylor particularly appreciated, or with the famous floral silk scarf that Gucci created on purpose for Grace Kelly.
These are the years in which the famous GG logo was created, along with the green and red stripe that we still see on bags and accessories. In this period iconic Gucci items were born: bags, loafers, belts, foulards and some of the accessories that have made Gucci a strong and famous company. For his creations, Gucci used leather of course but also less expensive yet resistant materials such as linen and canvas, which he mixed achieving very interesting results. This kind of mixture started during the Fascist period, when the company lacked leather, but it led to such great creations, like the iconic Bamboo Bag, that Gucci didn’t abandoned this tendency even afterwards.
Guccio Gucci died in 1953 and the activity passed to his sons that in the Seventies launched their first clothing prêt a porter collections. The most symbolic pieces of the first lines were the famous fur-trimmed coats, but also printed t-shirts, silk skirts and jackets with the GG logo on the buttons. Moreover, along with the traditional accessories, some of them where proposed in a new version: without altering the design, they had insertions made of precious materials like diamonds. Of course, only a few people like Rita Hayworth dared to buy them!
After launching jewellery, lingerie, eyewear and watches collections, in the Nineties the Gucci Group had new creative directors: Tom Ford first, who gave some glamour to every item and Frida Giannini later, whose creativity lead to a more feminine and rock style. Since 2015 the maison’s creative director is Alessandro Michele, who has given Gucci’s collections some retro taste with clothes taking inspiration from the Seventies.
Gucci has reinvented a lot in clothing, but regarding accessories it has adopted a style with no time that have determined their success: people liked them in the Fourties and still like them today. Let’s think of men loafers, for example: if Clark Gable wore them in the past, elegant men of today still found them gorgeous. The same happens with bags: today’s women still love the same items that they used to wear decades ago.