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Gucci Italian pronunciation: is an Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods. Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany, in 1921. Gucci generated about €4.2 billion in revenue worldwide in 2008 according to BusinessWeek and climbed to 41st position in the magazine's annual 2009 "Top Global 100 Brands" chart created by Interbrand; it retained that rank in Interbrand's 2014 index. Gucci is also the highest-selling Italian brand.
Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide as of September 2009, and it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores. In the year 2013, the brand was valued at US$12.1 billion, with sales of US$4.7 billion. In the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands list, Gucci is ranked the 38th most valuable brand, with a brand value of $12.4 billion as of May 2015. As of January 2015, the creative director is Alessandro Michele.
A turnaround of the company devised in the late 1980s made Gucci a global contender and a notable fashion label. In October 1995, Gucci went public and had its first initial public offering on the AMEX and NYSE for $22 per share. November 1997 also proved to be a successful year as Gucci acquired a watch license, Severin-Montres, and renamed it Gucci Timepieces.
The firm was named "European Company of the Year 1998" by the European Business Press Federation for its economic and financial performance, strategic vision as well as management quality.
Gucci headquarters are in Florence, other world offices are in Milan, Paris, London, Hong Kong, Japan, and New York. Kering headquarters are in Paris.
In 1989, Maurizio managed to persuade Dawn Mello, whose revival of New York's Bergdorf Goodman in the 1970s made her a star in the retail business, to join the newly formed Gucci Group as Executive Vice President and Creative Director Worldwide. At the helm of Gucci America was Domenico De Sole, a former lawyer who helped oversee Maurizio's takeover of ten 1987 and 1989. The last addition to the creative team, which already included designers from Geoffrey Beene and Calvin Klein, was a young designer named Tom Ford. Raised in Texas and New Mexico, he had been interested in fashion since his early teens but only decided to pursue a career as a designer after dropping out of Parsons School of Design in 1986 as an architecture major. Dawn Mello hired Ford in 1990 at the urging of his partner, writer and editor Richard Buckley.
In the early 1990s, Gucci underwent what is now recognized as the poorest time in the company's history. Maurizio riled distributors, Investcorp shareholders, and executives at Gucci America by drastically reining in on the sales of the Gucci Accessories Collection, which in the United States alone generated $110 million in revenue every year. The company’s new accessories failed to pick up the slack, and for the next three years the company experienced heavy losses and teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. Maurizio was a charming man who passionately loved his family's business, but after four years most of the company's senior managers agreed that he was incapable of running the company. His management had had an adverse effect on the desirability of the brand, product quality, and distribution control. He was forced to sell his shares in the company to Investcorp in August 1993. Dawn Mello returned to her job at Bergdorf Goodman less than a year after Maurizio’s departure, and the position of creative director went to Tom Ford, then just 32 years old. Ford had worked for years under the direction of Maurizio and Mello and wanted to take the company’s image in a new direction. De Sole, who had been elevated to President and Chief Executive Officer of Gucci Group NV, realized that if Gucci were to become a profitable company, it would require a new image, and so he agreed to pursue Ford’s vision.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Gucci company became one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of high-end leather goods, clothing, and other fashion products. As an immigrant hotel worker in Paris and later London, young Guccio Gucci (1881–1953) was impressed with the luxurious luggage he saw urbane guests bring with them at the Savoy Hotel. Before leaving, he visited the manufacturer, H.J. Cave & Sons. Upon returning to his birthplace of Florence, a city distinguished for high-quality materials and skilled artisans, he established a shop in 1920 that sold fine leather goods with classic styling. Although Gucci organized his workrooms for industrial methods of production, he maintained traditional aspects of fabrication. Initially, Gucci employed skilled workers in basic Florentine leather crafts, attentive to finishing. With expansion, machine stitching was a production method that supported construction.
Together with three of his sons, Aldo Gucci (1905–1990), Vasco Gucci (1907–1975), and Rodolfo Gucci (1912–1983), Gucci expanded the company to include stores in Milan and Rome as well as additional shops in Florence. Gucci's stores featured such finely crafted leather accessories as handbags, shoes, and his iconic ornamented loafer as well as silks and knitwear in a signature pattern.
The company made handbags of cotton canvas rather than leather during World War II as a result of material shortages. The canvas, however, was distinguished by a signature double-G symbol combined with prominent red and green bands. After the war, the Gucci crest, which showed a shield and armored knight surrounded by a ribbon inscribed with the family name, became synonymous with the city of Florence.
From 2016, Gucci's Internet presence has grown with more people searching for the brand online. In 2017, the brand saw a 115% increase in growth, with over $61,798,514 earned in media value. Furthermore, the fashion house saw a 44.5% increase in revenues in the nine months ending 30th September 2017. This growth can be linked to the success of their digital marketing strategies, which has allowed the brand to integrate the digital world to the in-store experience, and communicate to a larger target audience. Gucci saw a 130% web traffic increase from 1.8M site visits in January 2017 to 4.2M visits in December 2017.
Gucci's distinctive lines made its products among the most frequently copied in the world in the early 2000s. Pigskin, calf, and imported exotic animal skins were subjected to various methods of fabrication. Waterproof canvas and satin were used for evening bags. Bamboo was first used to make handbag handles by a process of heating and molding in 1947, and purses made with a shoulder strap and snaffle-bit decoration were introduced in 1960. In 1964 Gucci’s lush butterfly pattern was custom-created for silk foulards, followed by equally luxuriant floral patterns. The original Gucci loafer was updated by a distinctive snaffle-bit ornament in 1966, while the "Rolls-Royce" luggage set was introduced in 1970. Watches, jewelry, ties, and eyewear were then added to the company's product lines. A particularly iconic touch, introduced in 1964, was the use of the double-G logo for belt buckles and other accessory decorations.
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