Gucci is an Italian luxury accessory manufacturer, currently part of the Kering group.
From the business of the master saddler Guccio Gucci to the World Group
In 1921 the Italian master saddler Guccio Gucci (1881-1953) establishes in Florence a shop for fashion and leather goods. In 1938 he opens a boutique in Rome. Gucci himself designs many products the company offers. He had been working in London's Savoy Hotel for years and there experienced the refined aesthetic of English nobility. This he transfers to Italy, and now with the exclusive leather goods made of Tuscan master hand. Within a few years the brand experiences enormous success with a international cosmopolitan clientele that are fighting to get their hands on a collection of bags, suitcases, gloves, shoes and belts, which is inspired by equestrian sport.
In the 1940s, the "Bamboo Bag" presented one of the first of a long series of classics from the house of Gucci. It is still available today. The color combination green-red-green, derived from the girth, returns again repeatedly in the Gucci tissues.
After the founder's death in 1953 his sons Aldo, Vasco, Ugo and Rodolfo take over the company. The first American store in New York is opened. Branches in London, Palm Beach, Paris and Beverly Hills follow.
By and by Gucci developes into a well-known fashion company. In the 1960 years the image of Gucci consolidates as well known provider of fashionable trend accessories. Celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy, Liz Taylor, Peter Sellers and Samuel Beckett wear bags by Gucci. For Grace Kelly a silk scarf is done with flora print. In the late 1960s years Gucci introduces the double interlocking G as a logo.
In the 1970s, the distribution is extended to the Far East: the first shops open in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
In 1982 Gucci became a public company. Majority stakeholder Rodolfo Gucci died in May 1983, leaving his shares to his son, Maurizio Gucci. In 1988, after a legal war against his uncle, Aldo Gucci, he sold 47.8% of the company to the Bahrain-based investment fund, Investcorp, which also owned Tiffany & Co. at the time. The company's finances were troubled, and Investcorp acquired the remainder of the company in 1993. In March 1995, Maurizio Gucci was assassinated in the lobby of the company's Milan offices, a crime for which his wife was later blamed.
After the company had previously slipped into a crisis, the work of the star designer Tom Ford, who in 1994 becomes Creative Director, leads to great successes. The European Association of Business Press appoints Gucci "European Company of the Year 1998" for its economic and financial performance, its strategic vision and its management quality.
Gucci becomes, as measured by revenues, Italy's largest brand and among the top 100 of the world's well-known brands ranks as number 46. Today the company is almost entirely owned by the luxury goods group PPR S.A. (formerly Pinault-Printemps-Redoute S.A.), Paris. Creative Director is now Frida Giannini, who was born in Rome in 1972.
In October 1995, Gucci was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Investcorp sold its stake in the company by 1997, with LVMH acquiring much of the stock. With LVMH holding 34% ownership, the company turned to rival PPR for an acquisition. That luxury group, now called Kering, would acquire the company in March 1999.
The Gucci watch range
In November 1997 Gucci acquires the watch manufacturer Severin Montres, which is renamed Gucci Timepieces. Under Severin Wunderman, later owner of the luxury brand Corum, the watches department becomes very successful. First affordable quartz watches are marketed primarily.
New strategy with mechanical models
Meanwhile, Gucci Timepieces is also developing as a serious player in the mechanical area, who - surprisingly, regarding the high brand reputation - can score with an attractive price-performance ratio. Under new management one has positioned itself increasingly in this product segment since autumn 2010, inter alia, with the collection "G-Timeless".