It is only fitting that Gucci, one of the world’s most esteemed fashion houses, was born in the city of Florence. As you may know, Florence is the pinnacle of Italian craftsmanship where the greatest craftsmen, Michelangelo, himself was born!
Working as a young hotel employee first in Paris then in London, Guccio Gucci was privy to handling leather goods of the finest quality as he serviced the urbane guests of the late 19th century. Similar to Michelangelo, the young Florentine was propelled to create beauty himself. As there can never be too much of a good thing, Gucci returned home to Florence in 1921, where he opened his first store devoted to producing luxury leather goods.
The shop on the via del Parione attracted the likes of the fashionable aristocrats and stylish equestrians. The Gucci look was bridled with equestrian influence. Drawing inspiration from horse saddle straps, the legendary red and green stripe was born. The iconic Horsebit icon became a symbol of Gucci for years to come. When Guccio Gucci passed in in 1953, his four sons, Aldo, Ugo, Vasco and Rodolfo took over and created the iconic double G logo in honor of their late father.
The brand earned its place in every fashion city by 1963, with stores in Milan, New York City and Paris. Its ubiquitous presence among the fashionable elite established Gucci as THE brand for modern luxury. Loyalists to the brand such as Jackie O, Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth further solidified its status. In fact, the brand’s unmistakable Flora pattern was commissioned by Rodolfo when Grace Kelly came to visit the Gucci boutique in Milan! It was specifically designed to paint the picture of just who the Gucci woman was, a gorgeous woman full of grace, glamour, generosity and glory — fit for the princess of Monaco! (It seems all good things come in pairs of Gs!)
While the brand now exudes the slightly more provocative and alluring vision of Tom Ford, the Creative Director from 1994-2004, it is still girthed to that beauty and artistry that could only come from the hands of a Florentine.
As Guccio Gucci can attest to, there is nothing like handling a high quality leather good in your own hands. Next time you visit the Shops at Esplanade, be sure to stop by the Gucci store! (I mean, have you seen these embroidered sandals?!)