from working as an elevator operator to founder of a luxury fashion house
Have you ever wondered why we find two Gs in every Gucci product? Today we tell you the story of the founder of the brandwhose initials wink at each item of clothing.
Guccio Gucci was born in Florence on March 26, 1881. The son of an Italian merchant, it was not expected at that time that his name would be part of one of the largest fashion firms: the Gucci house.
His career began at an early age. At just 17 years old, he left behind the beautiful Italy to travel to Paris and Londoncities in which fashion is breathed, in search of muses.
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Fate was to bring him in the Savoy Hotel Londonin which he got his first job as maitre d’. However, Gucci was skilled and got different positions as time went by. Dishwasher, waiter, bellhop and concierge were some of them and their work in the hotel culminated in the elevator operator title.
The Savoy Hotel was not just any hotel. Situated in central London, the establishment was the most luxurious in 20th century Europe.
Celebrities and politicians decided that if they had to stay anywhere, it would be there, so it’s no wonder Guccio Gucci knew celebrities like Claude Monet, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra or Winston Churchill.
In 1901, Gucci married Aida Calvellia 24-year-old dressmaker and daughter of a tailor, who, in addition to being his wife, would be the mother of his daughter Grimalda and their four children Enzo (who died as a child), Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo.
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After his great effort at the Savoy Hotel, Gucci decided to return to the city where he grew up: Florence. In it, Gucci opened his first store, in which he specialized in selling leather saddlebags and saddles.
This idea fed him for two decades and, later, the arrival of cars forced him to reinvent himself, since the demand for horse products was decreasing. He did not part with his beloved Florence and in 1921 he opened another store in Via della Vigna Nuova.
The place was now looking for another type of clientele, a luxurious and wealthy one interested in travel suitcases imported from Germany and England. To these designs, Guccio Gucci decided to give your personal touchadding value to your product.
In a few months, the designer had already acquired a prestigious name and, as the clientele grew, so did the dimensions of the premises.
Its catalog already advertised other products, many of them related to horse riding, such as gloves, bags, belts or shoes, since at the time it was a sport of the aristocracy.
In 1932, Gucci designed one of the brand’s landmarks: the golden snake bread, a moccasin shoe with a gold-colored edging. This shoe has been the only one that has been exhibited at the MoMA in New York in the entire history of the museum.
A year later, in 1933, another great milestone for the firm took place. Aldowho worked with his father at the premises, created what is still the logo of the brand to this day, for which he was inspired by the initials of its highest reference.
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A conflict plagued the career of Guccio Gucci: the beginning of World War II. Previously, in 1935, the dictator of Italy, benito mussolinihad declared the invasion of ethiopia. This forced the United Nations to establish an international trade embargo on Italy, which made imports into Italy impossible.
Gucci had to change its roadmap and, in the absence of leather, decided to start manufacturing hemp fiber bags carefully woven, which had leather trim and a unique logo.
The designer also incorporated other fabrics like jute or linenwhich would be the stars of products such as silk scarves, ties and buckled belts for decades to come.
In 1938 Aldo convinced his father to open a second store located in Via Condotti, in Romedue to the success of their products.
During the end of World War II it became known, nothing more and nothing less, that the Gucci canvas bag (Suiter)which became popular among the British soldiers who occupied the capital.
In 1947, Gucci turned to his former muse, horse riding, and made another bag, the 0633inspired by the shape of a horse saddle.
This one had the bamboo handle and took on the role of one of Gucci’s many iconic materials, seen emblazoned on a wide variety of products, from watch straps to scarves.
On another occasion, Guccio Gucci returned to the equestrian style to find what would be one of the biggest icons of the brand: the green, red, green stripes.
However, for the designer, time also passed and his son Aldo assumed more and more responsibility. In 1952, Aldo traveled to New York with his brothers Rodolfo and Vasco. In the city they created Gucci Shops Inc. who owned the rights to the trademark in the US.
In the New York city they opened the first store outside of Italyhowever, Gucci Gucci could hardly enjoy it, since passed away two weeks later72 years old, at his home in Florence.
After his death, the designer left the company to his three eldest children. Aldo continued with the expansion of what would be an empire, opening new stores in London, Palm Beach, Paris, Beverly Hills and Tokyo. Meanwhile, Rodolfo managed the Milan location and Vasco ran a newly opened factory in Oltrano, Florence.
Looking back, the firm has gone through great conflicts like the fights for the inheritance, the murder of Maurizio Gucci or the copies and fakes from the 90s. However, today he has unconditional support such as Dakota Johnsson, Saoirse Ronan, Jared Leto or even Harry Styles.
However, the ultimate goal of Guccio Gucci has been fulfilled: their clothes are the most exclusive and Gucci represents one of the great empires of fashion.