1881 / 1953
Florence, Italy ; Milan, Italy
Guccio Giovanbattista Giacinto Dario Maria Gucci was born on March 26, 1881 in Florence, the son of Gabriello Gucci, a leather craftsman, and Elena Santini.
From the age of 17, Guccio lived abroad, first in Paris and then in England.
In 1899, while working as a porter at London's Savoy Hotel, he was fascinated by the suitcases of the many hotel guests arriving from all over the world. This experience likely gave him the inspiration to return to Florence and create travel bags.
Initially, Gucci's workshop sold only leather goods, with a focus on travel goods, and later expanded to include equestrian equipment and wallets.
Already during the 1920s, Gucci's products began to gain a certain amount of success, both among wealthy representatives of the Fascist regime, as well as the first rising movie stars who traveled and worked along the peninsula, even from America.
The store expanded and was soon turned into a boutique. In 1934, mindful of his own experience in London, Guccio created the company's first trademark: a porter carrying a suitcase and a travel bag. In 1938, Gucci opened a second store in Rome, in Via Condotti. During these years, many of the Italian customers were aristocratic horse-racing enthusiasts. Other exclusive icons followed, from the miniature horse bit to the green-red-green ribbon that echoed the saddle girth.
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Gucci became a s.r.l company and began exporting to the United States. Shortly after, in 1947, one of the company's iconic items, the Bamboo Bag, was created.
In 1951, Rodolfo, one of Guccio's sons, opened the Milan boutique.
In 1955, the porter was replaced with a knight in armor, again carrying a suitcase and a travel bag, in a game of cross-references that blended the past and the Florentine tradition of the Renaissance nobility's saddle makers with the contemporary world: on the shield, above the knight, were a rose and a rudder to symbolize sophistication and entrepreneurship.
It was during this period, specifically in 1953, that Gucci crossed the ocean with the opening of the first Gucci boutique in the United States, on 58th Street in New York. From that moment on, Gucci's growing popularity in the United States ensured also its international success.
Gucci products became known for their exclusive design and gained popularity among numerous movie stars. In 1961 the famous "Jackie bag" came out, in homage to Jacqueline Kennedy, while in 1966 Gucci introduced the Flora scarf, dedicated to Grace Kelly. These were the years in which many Hollywood and showbiz divas - from Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy to Maria Callas and Wallis Simpson - began to choose and wear Gucci items, increasing the fashion house's popularity and transforming it into one of the most popular and visible brands of Made in Italy.
In 1960 Aldo Gucci, one of Guccio's three sons, designed the symbol with the two crossed "G's". Since the 1960s, Gucci has opened boutiques and stores in Asia, starting with Tokyo and Hong Kong.
However, many of these achievements remained unknown to the founder. Guccio Gucci died in Milan in early January 1953. The brand he created remains, nonetheless, one of the most important and famous Italian fashion brands in the world.
Italian Fashion Brand
Person. “Charting the Evolution of Gucci.” CR Fashion Book. CR Fashion Book, March 11, 2021. https://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a26934683/evolution-gucci-designer/.
Zargani, Luisa. “The House of Gucci: A Complete History and Timeline.” WWD, May 5, 2021. https://wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/house-of-gucci-maurizio-gucci-tom-ford-patrizia-reggiani-history-timeline-1234813497/.