Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Italian Designers : GUCCI

Arguably the biggest name in Italian fashion today, the Gucci brand had very ordinary beginnings. Its founder, Guccio Gucci was born in 1881, the son of a Florentine craftsman, who while still only a boy, moved from Italy to Paris and from there to London, working as Maitre d’Hotel in the Savoy. It was in this cosmopolitan city that the young Gucci found the inspiration for what was subsequently to become a world-famous design house when he returned to Italy in the 1920’s. the first Gucci shop was opened in Florence with a capital of around only 30,000 lira. Its success was largely based on Gucci’s craftsmanship with leather and selling accessories to horse riders. As the firm grew, so did the family, with sons Aldo, Ugo, Vasco and Rodolfo becoming involved to the business. In the same year that Gucci died, 1953, the Gucci brand went international, with a new shop opening in New York, despite Gucci himself being against the idea.
It was this era that saw much of the Gucci product line become “classic”. This was the time of the handbag with the bamboo handle; the moccasin with the distinctive Gucci snaffle-bit; the foulards; the belt claps; the ties. On the back of his success, further shops were opened in London, Palm Beach, Paris, Beverly Hills and Tokyo. Later years saw considerable family infighting and several management reshuffles, but the name Gucci still stands at the very top of the fashion world.