Monday, February 22, 2010
Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci. In 1938, Gucci expanded and a boutique was opened in Rome. A craftsman, he founded the House of Gucci in Florence in 1906 as a small family owned leather saddlery shop. He began selling leather bags to horsemen in the 1920s. As a young man, he rapidly built a reputation for quality, hiring the best craftsmen he could find to work in his atelier.
Even in Gucci’s fledgling years, the family was notorious for its ferocious infighting. Disputes regarding inheritances, stock holdings, and day-to-day operations of the stores often divided the family and led to alliances. Gucci expanded overseas, board meetings about the company’s future often ended with tempers flaring and luggage and purses flying. Gucci targeted the Far East for further expansion in the late 1960s, opening stores in Hong Kong and Tokyo. At that time, the company also developed its famous GG logo (Guccio Gucci's initials), the Flora silk scarf (worn prominently by Hollywood actress Grace Kelly), and the Jackie O shoulder bag, made famous by Jackie Kennedy, the wife of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.