From the model-patrolled runways of Milan to the chic streets of New York, Gucci is synonymous with high fashion. The Italian designer outfits opulent consumers of all stripes -- financiers, socialites and celebrities -- making it an obvious candidate for a Luxist award in the Best Clothing Designer category, in addition to a nomination for Best in Leathergoods.
Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Gucci began as a luggage and leather goods store. Guccio Gucci drew on years of experience working at London's Savoy Hotel and observing the proclivities of English nobles, combining this sensibility with his own Italian fashion sense in his early work, a theme that still runs strong at Gucci today.
Though Gucci struggled to find materials as World War II raged through Europe, the scrappy founder was able to stay afloat by creating products like the "Bamboo Bag" from the resources available. The postwar years brought expansion to Milan and New York, and, sadly, the death of Guccio Gucci. His sons would take over the business and continue to guide it along the path to becoming an international fashion powerhouse, expanding to Hong Kong and Tokyo. The designer became a favorite of fashionable and legendary celebrities such as Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy.
Guccio Gucci's aesthetic persists, a lasting legacy for the founder. The company boasts talented designers like Frida Giannini, who was named sole creative director in 2006. In addition to Gucci, Gucci Group also owns Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Boucheron, Sergio Rossi, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent. It directly operates 560 stores around the world.
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