- Guccio Gucci founded this fashion house in 1904. Its roots are in the production of exclusive leather goods. During his years working in exclusive hotels in Paris and London and observing the quality of the luggage carried by guests, Gucci decided to open a fine leather shop in Florence, Italy. He was later joined by his three sons and expanded the family business. Changing from leather to canvas during World War II due to leather shortages, the situation gave creative birth to the famous double-G logo, which became the Gucci signature. The famous snaffle-bit clasp was introduced in 1966. Watches, apparel, and men's ties expanded the company's product line. The company enjoyed prosperity until the 1980s when family friction nearly destroyed the company. Tom Ford was named creative director in 1990 and is credited with being key in the positive recreation of the Gucci fashion house. Ford and his business partner, Domenico de Sole, left the Gucci Company in 2004. It was also during this time period that the Gucci brand joined other sought-after fashion names in the saturated counterfeit market. Major cities around the world had street vendors promoting Gucci look-alikes in everything from handbags to scarves and T-shirts.Today the brand is owned by French conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redouté. Designer Frida Giannini was hired as creative director in 2005. In 2006, Gucci opened the Gucci Tower in the Ginza shopping district of Tokyo, Japan. Giannini has placed her mark on the interior and moved away from the cool look of Tom Ford into a lighter and warmer atmosphere. Eyewear, fine jewelry, and watches are fast-growing categories for the brand and the 11,000-square-foot retail space allows for a creative division of product.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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