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Gucci: The Fashion Legend

When we consider the magnitude of the Gucci brand today, it's hard to believe it start as a small leather-making shop in Florence, Italia. The shop was started by Guccio Gucci, son of a artistic leather craftsman in 1906. Guccio exhibited the same design talents that his father possessed, making functional pieces amazing and that reflected his exposure to European designs.

From the start, Guccio crafted leather handbags for use by traveling horsemen. Later, after travelers began using horseless carriages with time, he transitioned his designs and methods to upscale leather luggage. The first Gucci retail shop was opened in 1938 on the scenic Via Condotti in Rome. Guccio himself designed much of the product inventory sold at the first shop.

Evolution of a Fashion Icon

In 1947, Gucci unveiled his leather handbag with bamboo handle, the internationally recognized masterpiece that enjoys continued popularity today. This was followed by the ever famous red striped webbing that also signified the brand globally. During the 1950s, Guccio went on to design several of the famous accessories and handbags that brought the fashion house to the heights of prestige and popularity. Fine Gucci luggage pieces, jewelry, purses, scarves, ties, and other accessories comprised the company's offerings.

After the death of Gucci in 1953, his family opened stores in several key cities throughout the world, including Paris, Beverly Hills, London, Palm Beach, and Tokyo. During the 1960s, the brand enjoyed an increase in prestige and popularity when several notable celebrities and public figures -- Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, and Peter Sellers, to name a few lent their personas to promoting the Gucci brand. Grace Kelly even sported a custom foulard Flora designed especially for her by Rodolfo Gucci. It was during this time that the now universal logo was developed in honor of the late founder Guccio Gucci.

A Fresh Start

With the designation o as chief designer Tom Ford in the 1990s, the Gucci brand was reinvented, enjoying a return to its initial chic appeal and lofty status. With the launch of Ford's new line in 1995 and endorsements from several top celebrities, including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, the fashion house again became one of the most exclusive in the world. A publicly traded company, modern-day Gucci offers a vast array of high-end Gucci purses, wallets, travel bags, footwear, accessories, colognes, and sunglasses.