Gucci


Guccio Gucci (1881-1953) founded his leather works in 1921 in Florence, Italy. As a young man, Gucci left his native Tuscany to work in London and across Europe in the tourist industry. He was a sharp observer and noticed the luxurious leather luggage used by wealthy tourists.

When he returned to Florence, he worked in one of the city’s many leather goods workshops, learning the craft. In 1921 he opened his own shop, in which he sold high quality leather goods made by others. Soon he opened a workshop at his store to repair leather goods and to produce his own leather goods.

Most biographies of Gucci and histories of the company state that in the early years, Gucci also made saddles, which is used to explain why there are so many equestrian influences in Gucci products. But according to the family sources cited by Sara Gay Forden in her book House of Gucci, this is not true.

All through the 1920s Gucci made luggage and the various leather containers that well-to-do travelers required. By the 1930s he had expanded to shoes and handbags. During the war years when leather was scarce, Gucci turned to canvas, developing a signature printed canvas that led to the famous double-G logo that came out some years later.

In the 1950s the company was inherited by Guccio’s sons and the company opened a store in the United States. The company began its use of the trademark green and red striped webbing. By the 1960s Gucci was a well-known luxury brand and it was a favorite of many members of the “jet set”.

In the mid-1960s the Gucci company developed some of the products that are most closely associated with the name. The brightly-colored floral scarves were first made in 1966, after Princess Grace visited the Milan store. The first scarf was presented to her as a gift. At that time Gucci had just begun making leather clothing and now they branched off into silk dresses, made from printed silk in designs similar to the scarves.

1968 brought about the introduction of the ultimate Gucci status symbol, the shoe decorated with the snaffle bit. The double-G monogrammed fabric was brought out in 1969.

Gucci prospered through the logo craze of the late 1970s and into the 1980s, but by the late 1980s Gucci was no longer considered to be fashion forward. It was Tom Ford in the 1990s that made Gucci a leading fashion house. Ford joined Gucci’s ready-to-wear division in 1990 and by 1994 he was creative director for the house. His work there has changed the image of Gucci from a solid, but slightly boring, luxury leather maker, to that of fashion leader. Tom Ford’s last collection at Gucci was for Fall, 2004. The next two collections were designed by Alessandra Facchinetti, and the designer is now Frida Giannini.

Written by Lizzie Bramlett, fuzzylizzie.com

from a 1950s handbag - Courtesy of Ruth Baza

from a 1950s handbag Courtesy of Ruth Baza

from an early 1970s silk 2-piece suit - Courtesy of artisannes

from an early 1970s silk 2-piece suit Courtesy of artisannes

from a 1970s 2 piece logo ensemble - Courtesy of PoppysVintageClothing

from a 1970s 2 piece logo ensemble Courtesy of PoppysVintageClothing

from a 1970s man's jacket - Courtesy of PoppysVintageClothing

from a 1970s man's jacket Courtesy of PoppysVintageClothing

from a 1970s mans jacket - Courtesy of PoppysVintageClothing

from a 1970s mans jacket Courtesy of PoppysVintageClothing

from a late 1970s/early 1980s bag - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

from a late 1970s/early 1980s bag Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

c. 1985 - Courtesy of kickshawproductions

c. 1985 Courtesy of kickshawproductions

from a mid 1980s dress  - Courtesy of catbooks1940s

from a mid 1980s dress Courtesy of catbooks1940s

from a late 1980s shawl   - Courtesy of linenladee

from a late 1980s shawl Courtesy of linenladee

from a 1990s blazer  - Courtesy of vintagepretties

from a 1990s blazer Courtesy of vintagepretties

from a pair of mid 2000 pants - Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

from a pair of mid 2000 pants Courtesy of pinky-a-gogo

from a 2008 fake tie from Vietnam  - Courtesy of claire shaeffer

from a 2008 fake tie from Vietnam Courtesy of claire shaeffer

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