House of Gucci: 100 Years of Iconic Fashion

When Guccio Gucci opened his first store on Via Vigna Nuova in Florence, Italy, in 1921, he could have imagined that his surname would become synonymous with sex appeal, hip-hopper and gender-fluid dressing, and would have 46 million followers . The social media platform of the 21st century is called Instagram.

Add to that, script-worthy family feuds, a near-bankruptcy, a reversal of fortunes, and a dramatic murder—the latter provided the story for Ridley Scott’s upcoming house of gucci,

The film, featuring stars such as Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, focuses on the 1995 murder of the founder’s grandson, Maurizio Gucci, who was shot in his office on the stairs on the orders of his ex-wife.

From migrant laborer to luxury brand founder

Born on March 26, 1881, to a leather goods maker, Guccio Gucci left Italy in his teens, and worked as a bellboy at The Savoy Hotel in London in the late 1890s, among other jobs . It was the fine furnishings of the fine hotel guests that first sparked their imagination.

Years later, in his native Florence, Gucci opened its first leather goods store, producing luxury travel goods for Italy’s wealthy upper class, as well as manufacturing equestrian gear influenced by conversations about polo and horse racing. which he heard at The Savoy Hotel.

During WWII, when the League of Nations against Italy caused a leather shortage, Gucci drew on its resourcefulness and made woven hemp goods featuring the brand’s now signature print – dark brown on a tan background. A series of connecting colored diamonds.

Other Gucci hallmarks followed over the decades: the bamboo handle handbag, double-G monogram, Gucci red stripe between two green stripes, and the Gucci loafer with its equestrian-inspired metal swirl clasp.

whole of Italy and beyond

After WWII, Guccio’s sons – Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo – came onboard and opened more stores in Italy and abroad, sparking the company’s fortunes.

For example, Aldo oversaw the opening of Gucci’s first New York store at the Savoy Plaza Hotel in 1953. Although founder Guccio died 15 days later, the brand continued to make waves in New York City.

One of its handbags was renamed “Jackie” after one of the city’s famous residents, Jackie Kennedy, carried the model.

In 1985, the Gucci Horsebite loafer was included in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was also famously worn by Madonna at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards and by Brad Pitt in the 1999 film fight Club,

Behind the scenes though, things weren’t always as rosy at House of Gucci.

The ’70s to ’90s saw fighting between the Gucci siblings, allegations of tax evasion, poor management, flagging sales – and the headline-grabbing murder of Guccio’s grandson and one-time Gucci chief Maurizio.

The family would eventually lose all stake in the company after it was acquired by Bahrain-based Investcorp in 1993. It was later bought by the French conglomerate PPR (now Kering SA), whose CEO, François-Henri Pinault, is married to a Mexican-American actress. Salma Hayek.

Hayek is part of the star-studded cast of the upcoming Ridley Scott film, house of gucci, which centers on the events leading up to the murder of Maurizio Gucci (played by Adam Driver), driven by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga).

Once enjoying a lavish lifestyle together, Maurizio eventually leaves Patrizia for his mistress, Paola Franchi. Patrizia and her accomplices (which included a self-confessed witch named Aurimma, played by Hayek) were later convicted of the crime, and served time in prison.

From sex appeal to genderless fashion

However, a fate-averse decision that Maurizio Gucci made before his untimely death was to enlist American designer Tom Ford as the brand’s creative director.

Ford is often credited with injecting the brand with a heavy dose of sex appeal, even in its sometimes scandalous ad campaigns.

With Ford in the making of high fashion pitting against the grunge subculture of the 1990s, Gucci transformed into a billion-dollar business that sealed its reputation as an “it” fashion brand.

Ford left big shoes to fill. His successors Alessandra Facchinetti and Frida Giannini contributed to the development of the brand – though not as extravagant as they did.

In 2015, Alessandro Michele, already serving roles as a handbag designer at the fashion house, was made creative director. And their recent genderless fashion — especially men’s fashion — has sparked a revival of sorts for Gucci.

For example, Michelle dressed Jared Leto—who incidentally portrays Paolo Gucci in the film—in a red Gucci evening gown, a model of his own head, for the 2019 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. accessed with.

And the British singer became the first to appear on the cover of Harry Styles american vogue, wearing a periwinkle Gucci gown and dark jacket which was also designed by Michelle.

Beloved: From Hip-Hoppers to Instagrammers

Underpinning its place in pop culture is the fact that Gucci is one of the most referenced brands in hip-hop music: Lil Pump’s 2017 hit “Gucci Gang” has mentioned the brand 53 times.

Gucci’s association with hip-hop dates back to the 1980s, when Harlem-based designer Danielle Day aka Dapper Dan designed Gucci’s monogram for hip-hoppers Eric B and Rakim for their first record, “Paid in Full”. Knockoff by customizing the track jacket with ,

Gucci initially attempted to dissuade Dapper Dan from using his logo for his flamboyant “knock-ups”, as he called them. The label has also attempted to eliminate counterfeiting of its designs through legal action – but the multi-million dollar industry is still thriving. And the brand finally decided to collaborate with Dapper Dan himself as part of its 100 Year Celebrations.

The recent resurgence of 1990s trends has also helped Gucci carve out a new market: Millennials and Generation Z — people who are now in their 20s and 30s. Gucci’s Double G logo is hard to avoid on social media these days. And as a nod to 21st century goods, there’s also Gucci Kids Playground: the company’s first app dedicated to children’s clothing.

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