08 October, 2018

Gucci - On Top of the Fashion Mountain?

Gucci is one of the most popular fashion houses in the world. They scored top spot in the 2017 most popular fashion brands countdown by Business Insider. 

Enjoyed by the likes of Brad Pitt, Rihanna, Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively, the Gucci train is certainly going strong. Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, seems to have found a winning formula after the sudden departure of Frida Giannini but that's not all.

Becoming a fashion powerhouse is not easy. You're put into the same league as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Versace and more to say the least. Innovation and risk is the name of the game.

How Gucci climbed this mountain can be found in their story. Filled with triumph, tragedy, risk and resurgence, what's the story behind Gucci? Let's start from the beginning. 

Guccio Gucci

Gucci is the namesake of their founder Guccio Gucci (1881-1953). After spending parts of his youth working abroad, he returned to Florence in 1902 and worked for Franzi, a leather manufacturer.

Guccio Finds Gucci

Honing his skills for nearly 20 years, he eventually founded Gucci in 1921. Opening his first store on Via Vigna Nuova, they initially sold leather bags before expanding to luxury luggage.

Due to Italy’s involvement in the world wars, sanctions were placed on vital goods such as leather which heavily impacted Gucci.  Faced with a potential problem, Gucci responded with the iconic Bamboo Bag. Simple yet effective, it’s one example of Gucci’s ability to innovate and reinvent the brand. 

Iconic Gucci Designs

Gucci has a number of designs which has cemented them as a house of Haute Couture. Here we pick out some of their greatest.

The Bamboo Bag

A timeless classic that was brought back to life by Frida Giannini and carried by the likes of J-Lo, Amy Adams, Beyonce, Princess Diana, Naomi Watts and Rosie Huntingdon-Whiteley.

The story behind it spells a tale of desperation. After WW2, the wartime rations forced Gucci into importing bamboo from Japan. 

The bamboo was melted down and curved into a handle. Attached to an empty sac, inspired by the shape of a saddle, it was aptly named the Bamboo bag.

Trivia - A Gucci Bamboo Bag requires 140 individual pieces before taking 13 hours to assemble!

Gucci Triple Web Stripe

Every fashion house has their signature. It comes in many forms. A Red sole from Christian Louboutin, the LV Monogram, Burberry check and more. 

In 1951, Gucci created the triple web stripe after they opened their first store in Milan. 

It's frequently used across their entire offerings such as handbags, purses, suitcases and even cars.

Gucci Loafers

It's not a question of who wears them but a question of who doesn't?

Celebrities who can't get enough range from Jennifer Aniston and Gigi Hadid all the way to Jaden Smith and Kris Jenner!

Simple yet so effective, the Gucci loafers date back to the opening of Gucci's store on Fifth Avenue. Equestrian-inspired, it's influenced an array of future designs by Gucci.

The Jackie Bag

Remember the story behind The Lady Dior Bag? Princess Diana was snapped wearing one and Dior honoured this by naming the bag after her. You can read more about it here: Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Dior.

When Jackie Kennedy was the FLOTUS, she was often snapped carrying a particlar Gucci bag. Gucci recognised this by renaming the bag to The Jackie Bag. 

Gucci modernised it before launching the bag again in the early 2000's.

Flora Scarf

The Flora scarf print was designed for the American actress turn Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly.

The canvas was inspired by her appreciation of flowers. Designed by Rudolfo Gucci in the mid 60's, it soon caught the eye of Audrey Hepburn and a host of other stars.

An inspiration for future designs, it's adorned the design of bags, dresses, shoes and more.

Guccio's Legacy

Guccio Gucci passed away in 1953 and left the company in the hands of his family.

Aldo, Vasco, Ugo and Rodolfo took over the brand. They had their eyes set on taking the company to international heights and opened stores in London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo. 

Trivia - Originally used as a bag fastener, the GG logo was used on the canvas of Gucci products in the 1960's and is now present on nearly all of Gucci's designs.

Honouring The House of Gucci's 90th Birthday, Frida Giannini revealed the 'Fiat 500 by Gucci' and the ‘Riva Aquariva by Gucci’. 

Final Words

Gucci continues to be a staple of high-end fashion and celebrated the launch of their global flagship store in New York with a benefit “A Night to Benefit Raising Malawi and UNICEF.” co-hosted by Madonna and Frida Giannini.

Gucci will soon be celebrating their centennial in 2021 and in that time they have gone from selling leather handbags to becoming one of the biggest fashion brands in the world.

The next Fashion House to feature in our series is Louis Vuitton which you can read here: Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Louis Vuitton.

Take a look at our beautiful collection of Gucci products currently available at William George & Co by hitting the link below 

Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci
Luxury Fashion House Spotlight - Gucci