The History of Gucci
The House of Gucci was founded by Florentine Gucci Guccio in 1921. The brand is synonymous with high fashion, Italian style, traditional craftsmanship and, to a lesser-known extent, global consciousness.
Gucci’s lifestyle items – from handbags to shoes, fashion collections, children’s clothing, small leather goods, jewelry and fragrances – are opulent, artistic and glamorous. The brand’s artisan quality and unparalleled design can be seen in each and every article; the GG logo or Gucci scripted signature is a prominent mark on every item as well. The fusion of past and present, history and modernity is self-evident. These characteristics are what sets Gucci apart, making it one of the most renowned and successful Italian brands.
Stilo Italiano (Italian Style)
This historic timeline of Gucci provides insight into some of the brand’s current jewelry design motifs.
The leather goods company and small luggage store Guccio Gucci opened in 1921 was inspired by his stint at London’s Savoy hotel, prompting the production of pieces that combined the refined aesthetic of English nobility with the master craftsmanship of local Tuscan artisans. It was during the ‘20s that the GG icon’s interlocking Gs, inspired by the initials of the company’s founder, was created. (It was reintroduced in the late 1960s in its original diamond-shaped print.) This logo is undeniably connected with the Gucci name.
In the 1930s, the equestrian-inspired collection of bags, trunks, gloves, shoes and belts experienced great success, thanks to the business of the sophisticated travelers flocking to Florence. It was during this time that diamond pattern of the Diamante collection was developed.
In the 1940s, Gucci begins experimenting with atypical luxury materials, including hemp, linen and jute. One of the innovations to emerge from this time was burnishing cane to create the handle of the Bamboo bag, whose curvy side was inspired by the shape of a saddle.
During the 1950s, equestrian inspiration appeared again, with the introduction of the Horsebit motif as a decorative element on handbags, and the trademark green-red-green web stripe derived from a traditional saddle girth. It was during this decade that Gucci’s founder passed on, leaving the business to his four sons.
The House’s timeless designs were cherished by the world’s movers and shakers in the 1960s, including First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, filmdom’s Elizabeth Taylor and Peter Sellers and literature’s Samuel Beckett. It was during this decade that the moccasin with Horsebit hardware became part of the permanent collection at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the iconic Flora silk scarf was created by illustrator Vittorio Accornero from a personal request by Princess Grace of Monaco.
The jewelry line consists of rings, bracelets, earrings, cufflinks, necklaces and pendants in 18kt yellow, white and rose gold, with and without diamonds. Some of the pieces are embellished with colored stones. Sterling silver is also used to craft the Gucci fashion jewelry line. A fine jewelry line offers a range of engagement rings and wedding bands.
All Gucci jewelry is developed, handcrafted by highly skilled goldsmiths and manufactured in Italy.
Gucci Sustainability and Philanthropy
The House of Gucci seeks to progressively reduce its environmental footprint and is actively involved in initiatives that support women’s rights and preservation of the arts:
- Since 2010, 100 percent of Gucci’s packaging is recyclable; a sensitivity to the environment in keeping with the grand’s heritage of quality and excellence.
- Chime for Change” is a global campaign for girls’ and women’s empowerment, founded by Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini and Beyonce Knowles-Carter.
- In collaboration with The Kering Corporate Foundation, Gucci helps to combat violence against women, promoting their dignity and rights.
- A long-term partnership with UNICEF, beginning in 2005, supports women’s and children’s programs in Africa and Asia.
- Since 2006, Gucci has worked closely with Martin Scorcese’s The Film Foundation to fund the digital restoration of cinematic masterpieces. The House is committed to adding one film each year to the growing collection of titles.
- A partnership with New York City’s Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), beginning in 2008, supports documentary film as an important artistic medium through the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, offering finishing funds to engage feature-length documentaries highlighting worldwide issues of social importance.
Additionally, Gucci has been certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), meeting the highest ethical, social and environmental standards established by the RJC’s Member Certification System.
The European Business Press Federation named Gucci “European Company of the Year 1998” and the Nielsen Company dubbed the label the most desirable luxury brand in the world in 2007.
In 2011, the Gucci Museo (Gucci Museum) opened in Florence’s Palazzo della Mercanzia, occupying three floors and 1,715-square-metres.