Gucci

BATD ON Dec 30, 2008 AT 10:34 am

Guccio Gucci

Guccio Gucci

One of the world’s best-known fashion labels, Gucci has long been a mainstay among the rich upper classes. Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, the label has a long and chequered past of family infighting, bankruptcy and even murder.

Originally producing leather goods and saddles, Gucci quickly went on to produce shows and handbags, both of which are still integral items of the brand’s identity. Gucci’s first boutique was opened in Rome in 1938 and continued to prosper during the 1940s and 1950s. Despite Guccio’s death in 1953, the brand continued to remain under the control of the Gucci family, although many argue this was the beginning of the brand’s downfall. Besieged by squabbles, the company’s bleakest point came when one of Guccio’s sons, Aldo, was arrested and imprisoned in the US on tax evasion charges. 

Gucci Autumn Winter 2008/2009

Gucci Autumn Winter 2008/2009

Although seen as something of a ‘tacky’ brand by this point, Guccio’s grandson Maurizio refused to be beaten and quickly assembled a new team to head the label, including Texan designer Tom Ford who was hired in 1990. Brash and bold, Ford has been accredited with turning the Gucci group back around and for putting the ‘sex’ back into the label. After 14 years as Creative Director, Ford handed the reigns over to Frida Giannini and Alessandra Facchinetti, although Giannini is currently the sole CD.

Currently 46 on ‘BusinessWeek’ magazine’s annual Top 100 Brands chart, Gucci also has stakes in Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Sergio Rossi and Bottega Venetta.

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