Highsnobiety

Gucci

Gucci / David Sims, Backgrid

ESTABLISHED

1921

HEADQUARTERS

Florence, Italy

FOUNDER

Guccio Gucci

CEO

Marco Bizzarri

REVENUE

$13.66 billion

INSTAGRAM

ABOUT

Gucci is an Italian fashion brand founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, making it one of the oldest Italian fashion brands in operation today. Like many historic fashion houses, the brand started out as a luggage manufacturer, producing luxury travel goods for Italy’s wealthy upper-classes, as well as equestrian equipment.

Initially the brand produced primarily leather goods, as well as premium knitwear, silk goods, shoes and handbags. During the second world war, material constraints owing to the war effort forced the label to use cotton to create their goods. It was during this time that the label introduced its distinctive “Double-G” monogram, as well as the now iconic Gucci stripe, consisting of two green stripes interrupted by a single red bar.

From the 1950s onwards, Gucci experienced incredible success as a label of choice amongst wealthy travellers, Hollywood stars and other well-heeled shoppers, renowned for its extravagant, opulent designs. Guccio Gucci passed away in 1953, but the business continued under the leadership of his three sons, Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo, In the mid-‘60s, the brand introduced luxury accessories such as eyewear, watches and jewelry to their product line; items which have since become a cornerstone of the label.

In 1983, Rodolfo Gucci passed away, and control was passed to his son, Maurizio, who struggled to maintain Gucci’s successes. During this period, the brand experienced numerous troubles owing to family disputes, tax evasion charges, assassinations and sales to foreign investors. In 1990, American designer Tom Ford was hired as a ready-to-wear designer, eventually being promoted to Creative Director four years later. Ford is credited as being instrumental in helping to restore Gucci’s reputation during that period, reducing the brand’s product offer, streamlining its identity and restoring the opulence and extravagance that had defined the label previously.

In 2004, Tom Ford presented his last collection with Gucci, being replaced by Frida Giannini. In 2006, Giannini took control of both men’s and women’s ready-to-wear design, and served in this role until late 2014.

At the time of Giannini’s departure, there was a perception developing that Gucci had become stale or irrelevant, with a lot of talk about who would replace her. The brand surprised their audience when, in 2015, it was announced that Alessandro Michele would take over as creative director of the brand.

Though Michele had worked for Gucci in various roles for 12 years, he was still relatively unknown as a designer, and it was not clear in what direction he would take the brand. However, Michele’s unique style, blending Gucci’s classic penchant for extravagance and opulence with a theatrical, somewhat-kitschy pageantry, has proven to be a huge success, attracting many young and aspirational customers, as well as numerous fashion insiders. In early 2017, it was announced that Gucci had achieved record sales under Michele’s leadership, fuelling an 11% boost in profits for the brand’s parent-company, Kering, and the brand’s high performance continues to this day.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE GUCCI LOGO?

The Gucci logo could perhaps be regarded as the most recognizable in terms of luxury branding. Aldo Gucci, son of the fashion house’s founder Guccion, joined Gucci in 1933 and designed the logo for his father. The use of the two G’s is in direct reference to the initials of Guccio Gucci himself – an artistic and memorable way to make the founder’s significance represented in a visually timeless manner.

WHAT DOES GUCCI MEAN?

Gucci has developed over the years as a symbol of abundance representing not only the luxury fashion house, but also as a form of slang. Its most common vernacular usage is to describe something that is “doing wel’”, and it can be seen in tracks by various established singers and rappers such as Cardi B and Kanye West, in addition to viral artists such as Lil Pump.

Additionally, Gucci’s history with boldness and opulence has similarly meant that it has lent itself over as a consistent source of inspiration for many rappers and hip-hop artists – leading to the development of this slang.

WHO IS GUCCI'S CREATIVE DIRECTOR?

Alessandro Michele is the current creative designer for Gucci, having previously worked alongside Fendi before being recruited by Tom Ford in 2002. Michele had a number of executive roles before taking on creative direction for Gucci, working as the house’s Leather Goods Design Director, and Associate to Creative Director (Frida Giannini at the time).

WHO OWNS GUCCI?

Currently, Gucci is owned by the French luxury group Kering. In addition to Gucci, Kering and its proprietor Francois Pinault also own Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen.

HOW DID GUCCI START?

Gucci was founded by Italian businessman Guccio Gucci in Florence, Italy, in 1921. Gucci began his career as a hotel worker in London and Paris, where he became fascinated by the luxurious luggage carried by wealthy guests. Upon returning to Florence, he started his own business selling leather goods, including handbags and luggage, which quickly gained popularity among local aristocrats and celebrities.

In the 1930s, Gucci expanded his product line to include clothing, shoes, and other accessories, and opened stores in Rome and Milan. During World War II, the company faced supply shortages and other difficulties, but was able to bounce back in the post-war years by focusing on high-quality, distinctive designs that appealed to an international clientele.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Gucci continued to grow and expand its product lines, introducing new styles such as the iconic “Flora” scarf, which was designed for Princess Grace of Monaco. The brand’s popularity continued to grow in the following decades, as it became associated with luxury, glamour, and high fashion.

Today, Gucci is part of the Kering Group, a French luxury goods holding company, and is one of the most recognized and respected fashion brands in the world, known for its innovative designs, distinctive branding, and commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

WHAT DOES GUCCI STAND FOR?

Gucci does not stand for anything in particular, as it is simply the name of the Italian luxury fashion brand founded by Guccio Gucci in 1921. The brand has become synonymous with high-fashion, luxury, and quality, and is known for its distinctive designs, iconic branding, and strong presence in the fashion industry. Despite the lack of a specific meaning behind the name, Gucci has become one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world, loved by fashion-conscious consumers and celebrities alike.

WHAT IS GUCCI STYLE?

The Gucci style is known for its bold and eclectic mix of materials, patterns, and colors, often incorporating unexpected combinations of textures and prints.

It is characterized by a playful and irreverent approach to fashion, with an emphasis on creativity, individuality, and self-expression.

Gucci designs often feature opulent embellishments such as sequins, beads, and embroidery, and the brand is also known for its distinctive use of the double-G logo, which has become a symbol of luxury and status.

Under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, Gucci has embraced an even more maximalist approach to fashion, with designs that blend vintage and contemporary influences in new and unexpected ways.

WHY DOES GUCCI HAVE TWO GS IN ITS LOGO?

The interlocking Gs that make up the Gucci logo have become one of the most recognizable symbols in the fashion industry. The double-G logo was first introduced in the 1960s, and was created by Aldo Gucci, one of Guccio Gucci’s sons. The design is thought to be inspired by the initials of Guccio Gucci himself, as well as the equestrian world, which was a major influence on the brand’s early designs. The interlocking Gs have since become an iconic symbol of luxury and sophistication, and are featured prominently in many of Gucci’s designs, from handbags and accessories to clothing and footwear. The double-G logo has also become a status symbol, representing the brand’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and timeless style.

WHO ARE THE GUCCI DESIGNERS?

Tom Ford: Creative director from 1994 to 2004, credited with revitalizing the brand and turning it into a modern icon of luxury and glamour.

Frida Giannini: Creative director from 2006 to 2015, known for her feminine and sensual designs, as well as her focus on expanding the brand’s accessories lines.

Alessandro Michele: Creative director 2015 to 2022, credited with bringing a fresh and eclectic new perspective to the brand, with designs that blend vintage and contemporary influences in unexpected ways. Michele’s designs have been praised for their maximalist aesthetic, bold use of color and pattern, and celebration of individuality and self-expression.

Sabato De Sarno Creative director since 2023.

1921

First Gucci store opens in Florence.

1935-1936

Gucci finds alternatives to imported leather due to League of Nations embargo against Italy; developing a specially woven hemp from Naples printed with the first signature print.

1938

Gucci opens shop in Rome.

1951

Guccio’s son Rodolfo opens first Milan store, and the green-red-green web becomes a hallmark of the company.

1953

Expansion to United States with first American store in New York City. Guccio Gucci dies at the age of 72.

1961

Gucci stores open in London and Palm Beach.

1972

Gucci store opens in Tokyo, followed two years later with a store in Hong Kong.

1975

Launch of the first fragrance.

1981

Gucci parades ready-to-wear fashion for the first time at the Florentine fashion show.

1985

The Gucci loafer is displayed at New York’s MoMa and becomes part of the permanent collection.

1990

American designer Tom Ford is hired to oversee the women’s ready-to-wear collection.

1994

Tom Ford is appointed creative director, with his first collection coming out for Autumn ’95.

1999-2000

Relaunching of Jackie bag, opening the era of a Gucci “It” bag Company acquisition by Francois Pinault.

2002

Frida Giannini, previously handbag designer for Fendi, joins Gucci as part of Ford’s design team.

2007

The first TV ad campaign airs for the Gucci by Gucci fragrance.

2011

Gucci celebrates its 90 year anniversary.

2015

Alessandro Michele is appointed as creative director of Gucci, succeeding Tom Ford.

2017-2020

Alessandro Michele designs Gucci’s first virtual sneaker.

Gucci announces its North Face collaboration.

LV, Gucci, & Prada accused of cheating employees in illegal conspiracy.

2021

Gucci releases an unexpected collaboration with Xbox.

Gucci’s 100th birthday bash hits Berlin, Milan, London.

100Thieves x Gucci is next gen luxury gaming.

Gucci’s new Seoul store is mesmerising.

The Gucci family is not happy about the House of Gucci film.

Gucci drops a collaboration with TNF in Pokémon Go.

2022

This is the future of Gucci in the Metaverse.

Gucci steps into the world of luxury cocktails.

adidas x Gucci debuts in NYC.

Gucci is now styling NFT avatars.

Gucci announces a new metaverse project.

2023

Gucci x Vans for an unexpected collab.

adidas x Gucci releases new collections.

Gucci releases the horsebit loafers to great critical acclaim.

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