100 Years Of Gucci
All my life, Gucci has been a staple fashion house in the world of luxury fashion brands. It feels as if Gucci has never stopped or slowed in its journey to fashion world domination. In fact, in 2019 it was back on top as the most famous fashion brand in the world (Vogue) and in 2020 was seen to be the second most valuable fashion brand being worth just over 17.6 billion USD (WTV OX).
So, as March marks 100 years of the Gucci brand, let’s take a look at how Gucci became the empire it is today.
Guccio Gucci opened his own store in Florence, Italy, selling imported leather goods, mainly luggage. When he did create his own product, they were mainly saddles and accessories for horseback riders. We still see the equestrian inspiration in their products today.
Whilst leather and various textiles became difficult to obtain, Gucci began experimenting with different materials. Discovering that Japanese bamboo made for beautiful bag handles, they developed a unique look that allowed them to build their brand and reputation.
1953 was a huge year for Gucci they arrived in America and open their flagship store in New York, prompting celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy to fall in love with their bags and expend the brands popularity. Sadly, this was also the year the brands founder Guccio Gucci passed away.
Gucci furthered their world domination in the 1970s by extending their stores to reach Tokyo and Hong Kong. And this was the decade they released their first fragrance; Gucci Number One.
In 1981 the first Gucci ready to wear line was released, but the brand was struggling and the Gucci family feuds almost pushed them to the brink of bankruptcy. However by, 1989 a new creative director was appointed; Dawn mellow. This move brought hope to revive the brand once again. She did revive many of the brands classics favourites, but the real success which was when she brought in Tom Ford.
Although drafted in initially in the 1980s as the women’s ready to wear designer, it wasn’t until 1994 when Tom Ford really put his stamp on Gucci when he became creative director. With his sleek, modern designs with a daring twist, he put Gucci back on the map, bringing massive success and a huge amount of celebrity clientele.
Perhaps noughties Gucci is more similar to the Gucci we know and love today. Frida Giannini took the brand away from Fords ‘sex sells’ method and back to its roots. Bringing back the stripes, florals, bamboo and adding the Bee motif which is instantly recognisable.
In 2015, Alessandro took over as creative director, and certainly proved he earned his place in the fashion house. He built on the light and sweet designs of Giannini and turn them into ethereal visions and works of art which snowballed their success into what it has become today.
Having looked back at Gucci’s past 100 years, we can’t wait to see another roaring 20s through Gucci’s eyes.