Guccio Gucci was born in 1881 in Florence, Italy. In 1921, he opened a leather goods and small luggage company in Florence. His vision of the brand was inspired by the refined aesthetic of English nobility he experienced when working at the Savoy Hotel in London. Within then next few years, Gucci's brand had begun to form as sophisticated clientele used his trunks and bags on vacation. Many of Gucci's clients were also local horse riding aristocats demanding leather gloves and shoes for their practice. Because of the local horse riders' support, Gucci used the now iconic horsebit as inspiration adding it to his bags.
As leather was scarce during World War II and during Fascist dictatorship in Italy, Gucci began using materials like linen, hemp and jute. From the use of these new materials, the new curved sides and burnished handles of his bags became well known details.
In the 1950s, Gucci used the colors red and green in his green-red-green web stripe on his bags adding a recognizable feature to the bags. He opened stores in Milan and New York, in the 1950s, building his presence in the modern luxury world. He passed away January 2, 1953 leaving his four sons the family business.
Continuing the brand, in the 1960s, Gucci introduced the interlocking G brand logo as another distinct feature. Stores opened in London, Palm Beach, Paris and Beverly Hills. In the 1970s, Gucci expanded to Hong Kong and Tokyo. The company also developed their first line of ready-to-wear collections.
The first Gucci runway show presented in Florence in 1981. In 1982, the company was led by Guccio Gucci's grandson, Maurizio Gucci. In 1987, Maurizio and Investcorp, an investment company equally owned half of the brand. By the early 1990s, Investcorp completely bought the brand and Tom Ford took over as creative director taking the brand through the millenium. Frida Giannini is the current creative director appointed in 2006. She has kept with the classic designs bringing the old with the modernity of the brand.
Gucci introduced their first fragrance in 1974 with Gucci No. 1. Perfumers who have created fragrance for the Gucci line include Maurice Roucel, Dominique Ropion and Guy Robert. Other fragrances in the Gucci collection include Envy, Guilty and the newest Premiere and the Flora line.