Gucci is without a doubt one of the industry’s most buzzing brands right now, with influencers and fashion enthusiasts around the world sporting the signature “GG” logo on the daily. From headline-creating runway shows, to best-selling pieces, the brand has managed to established a big presence over the past few years. Quickly climbing to the top of the fashion ladder, the Italian label has become one to watch – but how much do you really know about the cult brand?
Our latest “Fashion Focus” series focuses on delving deep into the history of all the biggest labels in the industry, and for our first installation we’re taking a look at Gucci.
Founded in 1921 in Florence, Italy by Guccio Gucci, the company grew to become one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of high-end leather goods and clothing, focusing on fine and established craftsmanship. In the early 1900s, the label expanded and opened stores in both Milan and Rome, and during World War II, Gucci began crafting bags from cotton canvas rather than leather due to material shortages. It was during this time that the fashion house’s signature double-G symbol was born, as well as the striking red and green bands that have since become synonymous with the label.
After a period of family drama and feuds in the 1980s, Gucci’s image was tarnished. In 1990, Tom Ford was brought in as Creative Director, tasked with creating a ready-to-wear line for the label, and also making the decision to take the brand’s products down from 20,000 to 5,000, focusing more on luxury retail. Bringing Gucci into a new era, Tom Ford created a lot of controversy by publishing sexual ads featuring pieces from his collections, as well as provocative campaigns that quickly contributed to the label’s rapidly growing success. Labelling the designer as a provocateur, Ford’s reign at the brand proved that the famous saying “sex sells” is nothing but true. Gucci was also acquired by LVMH in the late ’90s, joining other big names like Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.
In 2004, Ford stepped down from the label, handing it over to a team of younger designers. Having created some of the most iconic and memorable pieces out there, such as the Gucci handcuffs that recently sold for a whopping $65,000 USD, Ford started his own eponymous label the same year. After the Tom Ford-era, the green and red Gucci bands managed to become among the most frequently copied in the world in the early 2000s, leaving the brand with a flawed reputation and a tacky connotation. However, the brand still remained one of the most iconic fashion houses, always remaining on the luxury market, despite losing its appeal to the fashion audience.
It wasn’t until January 2015, when current Creative Director Alessandro Michele took over, and gave the label a modern re-vamp that has gained Gucci a spot amongst the top three luxury brands in the world. Michele debuted his first collection in Milan during the Fall/Winter 2015 runway show, and later displayed the women’s collection for the same season, revealing his full refreshing vision for the brand. Taking inspiration from the vast archives, Michele brought back the iconic double-G logo, as well as the singular green and red stripes, creating retro pieces that have grown to become some of the most sought-after garments in the industry. Most notably, his infamous “bootleg”-inspired logo T-shirt created a wave of Gucci-obsession in the industry, with the $500-plus USD T-shirt selling out within seconds after its release and re-stocks.
Fast forward to present day, and Gucci is still one of the most covetable luxury labels, and isn’t slowing down any time soon. Recently debuting its striking Resort 2019 collection, Alessandro Michele will be presenting his upcoming vision for Spring/Summer 2019 in Paris instead of the brand’s home of Milan, Italy. We’ve previously seen everything from realistic heads being carried down the runway, to out-of-this-world, sci-fi inspired collections and presentations – all receiving praise from critics and fashion lovers worldwide. It remains to see what we can expect from Gucci in the future, but since Alessandro Michele’s revival, we are certain that it will be big and bold. Click through the gallery above to see snaps from some of Gucci’s recent runway shows, and for all the latest must-cops from the brand, check out our top picks here.