Gucci - History of a Fashion dynasty
100 Anniversary of Gucci 1921-2021
This year we celebrate the centenary of the birth of the Gucci brand in Florence, thanks to its founder Guccio Gucci who brought all over the world one of the symbols of Italian style and creativity
Guccio Gucci was born in Florence in 1881 in a family of noble origins and when he was only 17 he moved to London. With few money but a great curiosity to make new experiences, he found a job at the Savoy Hotel as lift boy.
In this way he developed his interest for travel accessories, such as suitcases with monogrammes and printed initials, to make them unique and precious.
Back in Florence a few years later, he opened in Via del Parione his first shop of bags, suitcases and leather accessories of high quality, made by local artisans with excellent materials, referring to an ancient florentine tradition which dated back to old times.
From England he took the inspiration of the horse racing world, using for the first time the famous red and green band, which was the saddle's girth.
In 1937 Guccio opened a new shop in Via della Vigna with aristocratic and elegant customers like the Rothschild and the Frescobaldi who chose his shop to buy their luggage.
Many products were customized and branded with the heraldic shield, an armoured knight holding a suitcase, a rose and the wheel of fortune, inspired from the ancient family crest.
Guccio and his wife Aida had five children, Vasco, Ugo and Aldo who continued the family business and Rodolfo, the youngest, who was fond of cinema, became a quite famous actor and later was sent to direct the family store in Milan.
The Gucci success in the '50s and '60s
In the '50s and '60s the Gucci stores were visited by famous people such as the Dukes of Windsor, Grace of Monaco, Alain Delon, Clark Gable and many others.
For Princess Grace the designer Vittorio Accornero created the iconic silk scarf "Flora" , with a pattern of colourful flowers and intense shades, inspired from Botticelli's "Primavera". During the '60s, the Bamboo Bag became the most requested it-bag by celebrities and an object of desire, always present under the spotlight of the jet set.
Gucci in New York
In mid of the '50s Aldo Gucci opened a shop in New York and skillfully built his success in the United States, promoting the great quality of florentine craftmanship " “Quality is remembered long time after price is forgotten” were the words shown in every Gucci store.
Jaqueline Kennedy became a frequent client and in her honour the "Jackie" bag was created. Then the company decided to include clothing in the production and in the '70s the "Gucci fashion", made of leather garments, had a great success.
The murder of Maurizio Gucci
Maurizio, son of Rodolfo, was the last descendant of the family to run the fashion company. In 1972 he married Patrizia Reggiani, against the will of his father and in 1995 he was killed by three gunshots in front of his office in Milan.
His wife was condemned as the instigator of the murder and she has recently finished to serve the sentence. Ridley Scott is shooting a movie on the Gucci murder to be released in November 2021 starring Lady Gaga as "the black widow" Patrizia Reggiani.
At the beginning of the '90s the Gucci family decided to sell the fashion company and Tom Ford was chosen as the main designer of the "ready to wear", bringing the brand back to its original luxury.
In 2011 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the birth of the brand, the Gucci Garden was opened in Florence, a museum dedicated to the iconic creations of the florentine fashion house, from the original suitcases designed by the founder Guccio Gucci, to the collections of Tom Ford and Frida Giannini and Alessandro Michele , creative director since 2015.
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