Gucci: Ordinary Leather Goods Manufacturers to the Most Iconic Fashion Brand
Gucci is a high-end, luxurious Italian fashion label with its headquarters in Florence. Handbags, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, and home décor are among its product categories. It also licences its name and branding to Coty, Inc. for fragrance and cosmetics under the Gucci Beauty banner. Currently, Kering, a French luxury conglomerate, owns Gucci. Along with Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen are all brands owned by Kering and its owner Francois Pinault.
The history of Gucci begins with the vision of its founder, Guccio Gucci, just like the stories of other well-known firms. Gucci was born in 1881 in Florence, Italy, into a family that produced leather goods. In 1897, he started working as a porter at the London Savoy Hotel. He initially noticed that the visually magnificent trunks and bags that the elite hotel guests at Savoy were using had captured his attention. Due to this, Guccio made the decision to return to his hometown in 1902 and begin working for Franzi, a producer of leather goods. He honed his abilities to create excellent pieces of luggage as well as his talents as a craftsman.
Guccio left Franzi in 1921 to start his own company, Gucci, and founded the first Gucci store in Florence’s Via della Vigna Nuova before opening a second one in Via del Parione. Guccio began by selling leather items to Italy’s wealthiest citizens. He was famous for his luggage, of course, but he also made horse saddles from the finest Italian leather. In fact, many of Gucci’s modern designs were influenced by the early equestrian gear it made. The Gucci brand gained popularity as a result, and the upper class in England started to take note.
The Bumpy Road of Success:
Initially, the business focused on leather products, but it has now expanded to include quality knitwear, silk items, shoes, and purses. During WWII, the label was compelled to employ cotton due to material limits imposed by the war1q. During this period, the company debuted its characteristic “Double-G” monogram, as well as the now-iconic Gucci stripe, which consists of two green stripes separated by a single red bar.
Gucci had enormous success as a label of choice among wealthy travellers, Hollywood stars, and other well-heeled buyers from the 1950s onwards, famed for its lavish, sumptuous designs. Guccio Gucci died in 1953, but his three sons, Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo, continued the family business. The company incorporated luxury accessories such as eyewear, watches, and jewellery to their product line in the mid-1960s; goods that have since become a cornerstone of the name.
Giorgio, Aldo’s son, founded Gucci Boutique on his own in 1969, which resulted in the first family conflict. In 1972, the family eventually took over the company. During the 1980s, the Gucci controversy undermined the company’s family-held senior management and increased public attention. Paolo Gucci, Aldo’s second son, created the Gucci Plus brand on his own. Aldo received criticism for expanding the bulk of Gucci America, the business he owned abroad. To reduce family strife, the Gucci group was merged and Guccio Gucci SpA, a publicly traded corporation, was established in 1982.
In May 1983, Rodolfo passed away. In order to seize full control of Gucci, his son Maurizio Gucci sued his uncle Aldo, The company’s management was taken up by Maurizio Gucci. Aldo Gucci whose age was 81, was imprisoned for a year for tax evasion in 1986 with only 16.7% of Gucci still in his possession. Withholding the remaining 50%, Maurizio Gucci sold about 47.8% of Gucci in 1988 to Bahrain-based investment fund Investcorp, which had owned Tiffany since 1984.
The sales of Gucci products totalled $400 million between 1981 and 1987, including $227 million in 1990 alone. Gucci products were produced in large quantities during the 1980s, which brought in money but hurt the brand’s reputation as an exclusive luxury label. In order to get Gucci back on track, Maurizio hired Dawn Mello. Maurizio Gucci was shot and killed in the lobby of the Milan location of Gucci in March 1995. His former wife, Patrizia Reggiani, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for hiring a hitman to kill him.
In 1990, Tom Ford, an American designer, was employed as a ready-to-wear designer and was promoted to Creative Director four years later. During that time, Ford is credited with helping to recover Gucci’s reputation by lowering the brand’s product offering, refining its identity, and restoring the luxury and extravagance that had previously marked the name. Tom Ford showed his final collection for Gucci in 2004, before being replaced by Frida Giannini. Giannini took over men’s and women’s ready-to-wear design in 2006 and remained in that position until late 2014.
Alessandro Michele Entry
At the time of Giannini’s departure, there was a growing notion that Gucci had grown stale or unimportant, with much speculation about who might take her place. When it was revealed in 2015 that Alessandro Michele would take over as creative director of the brand, the public was taken aback.
Though Michele had been with Gucci for 12 years in various roles, he was still relatively unknown as a designer, and it was unclear where he would take the company. Michele’s distinct style, which combines Gucci’s classic predilection for extravagance and opulence with a theatrical, slightly kitschy pageantry, has proven to be a major success, attracting a large number of youthful and aspirational buyers, as well as numerous fashion insiders. Gucci generated record sales under Michele’s leadership in early 2017, fueling an 11% increase in profits for the brand’s parent company, Kering, and the brand’s outstanding performance continues to this day.
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