House of Gucci, also known as Gucci, was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence in 1921. The Italian fashion house, which is also a leather goods label, is part of the larger company Gucci Group, owned by the French company PPR. The House of Gucci is one of the world's foremost manufacturers of luxury leather items, clothing, and other products.
Guccio Gucci, who was born in 1881, was an immigrant in Paris and then London, and it was while working in high-end hotels in these locations that he first became enthralled with the exquisite pieces of luggage guests were toting.
When Gucci returned to Florence in 1920, he opened a leather goods store to continue pursuing his passion. With the help of his sons Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo, Gucci continued to expand the company to Milan and Rome, and the company began to expand its offerings as well to include handbags and shoes. The Gucci loafer became a worldwide phenomenon, as did the company’s cotton canvas handbags bearing the Gucci crest. In 1953, the company opened a location in New York City. As the company continued to flourish and grow, it expanded its offerings even more to include other accessories. More recently, Gucci has added a children’s line to their repertoire, and Gucci leather has also been used in various luxury automobiles over the years.
Though Gucci experienced internal struggles in the 1980's and 1990's, it continues to hold an influential spot as one of the top players in international fashion. The best selling Italian brand is worth billions of dollars according to a 2008 Business Week magazine article, and made Interbrand’s "Top Global 100 Brands" in 2009. Gucci sells its merchandise in upscale department stores and also directly operates almost 300 stores, located at various international destinations.
Today, Gucci is a public company and partners with prominent philanthropic organizations such as UNICEF. The brand has an enormous following including celebrity fans Bianca Jagger, Cameron Diaz, and Madonna.