Guccio Gucci, the man whose name inspired the interlocking G logo, was born 26th March 1881 in Florence. Inspired by wealthy clients at the Savoy Hotel, his fashion brand has gone on to become one of the most famous in the world.
The founder of the House of Gucci, Guccio Gucci, was born on this day in 1881 in Florence.
In the early 1900s, Gucci worked as a bell boy at the Savoy Hotel in London. Inspired by the elegance of the wealthy people and their smart luggage, on his return to Florence he started making his own line of leather travel bags and accessories.
In the 1920s, Gucci opened a small leather and equestrian shop in Via della Vigna Nuova, Florence. He learned some of his skills from his father, Gabriello, who was a leather craftsman from San Miniato.
Gucci later added handbags to his line and relocated to a bigger shop. Fascinated with horses, Gucci’s bags featured clasps and fasteners resembling horse bits and stirrups. He gained a reputation for hiring the best craftsmen he could to work on his products.
Gucci and his wife, Aida Calvelli, had six children and four of their sons, Aldo, Vasco, Ugo and Rodolfo later joined the business.
In 1938, he expanded to Rome. When raw materials became scarce during WWII, he used materials such as hemp and linen to make his bags. However, they retained the horse-inspired metal trim.
In 1951 Gucci opened a store in Milan. His preference was for keeping the business relatively small and limited it to Italy. However, his sons had more ambitious ideas and two years later expanded overseas, opening a store in Manhattan.
Gucci died in Milan in 1953, just two weeks after the New York store launched. After his death his sons continued to expand the business, opening boutiques in London and Paris.