Gucci is one of the most recognizable fashion houses you must have heard about in the fashion industry. The brand offers different designs, from a minimalist design to its sexy campaigns. In recent fashion history, Gucci has successfully remained the pinnacle of excessive glamour. However, it hasn’t always been that way. That’s why it is vital to explore Gucci history and understand how the brand became so successful over the years. Luckily for you, this article covers all you need to know about the luxury brand and how it grew into a top brand.
The Gucci Brand History
Guccio is a skilled leather craftsman who started out selling leather bags to horsemen in the 1920s. Guccio also improved his style when things changed over time and horses were no longer part of the carriage. He began to produce high-end luxurious products that drew the attention of English noblemen. By the year 1938, Guccio had successfully opened his first retail shop in Rome. The business created so much profit and success for Guccio, but he began to face some challenges in the 1930s. They imposed some sanctions on Mussolini, and this led to a shortage of imported leather. Due to this, there were many trademarks of the brand that existed. Guccio constantly experimented with different textiles like leather bags with bamboo handles.
After world war II ended, leather production started to pick up once again, and the brand began to enjoy some success again. During this period, Guccio created the pigskin bag that is a signature material of this fashion house today; In the 50s, the brand began to expand and open more stores. There were already locations in Rome and Florence, but they decided to open one in Milan as well. Guccio died in 1953, and it was after his death, a new store opened in Savoy Plaza hotel in New York City. At Guccio’s death, the company began to fall apart due to conflict between Guccio’s sons. They constantly argued over strategy and control of the brand. When Rodolfo passed in 1983, he left his stake to his son.
The 80s and Its Importance in the Gucci History
It was in 1981 that Gucci held its first fashion show. This show’s collection focused on the flora pattern and was held in Florence, Italy. The company continued to undergo several changes due to the existent conflict on who should be in control. Rodolfo’s son, Maurizio, eventually took over and pushed his cousins and uncle out of the company. His first step was to name Domenico as president of Gucci America. Domenico is a Harvard Law School Graduate and was the first professional manager to play a senior role in the family. Gucci history showed that Domenico was an intelligent businessman, and he aimed to restructure the company. He started out firing some of the employees and replacing them with highly experienced managers. He also expanded the brand’s control over distribution and reduced the brand’s channels.
On the other hand, Maurizio decided to limit distribution to an exclusive clientele. He placed the company next to brands like Chanel and Hermès and then raised the price and reduced distribution. Maurizio didn’t have the business or analytical skills to rebuild the company despite this brilliant plan. Gucci history showed he severely destroyed its reputation that customers didn’t see it as a luxury brand. In 1989 in Gucci history, Investcorp, a holdings company, acquired almost half of Gucci. This company brought in its head of accessories and Bergman Goodman’s president to boost the brand. Unfortunately, the company decided to force Maurizio out if they were going to keep supporting Gucci.
The Gucci History and Tom Ford Take Over
Very few do not know about the Tom Ford takeover in Gucci history. With sales growing yearly after the entrance of Investcorp, Gucci decided to climb up the ladder again. It was at this point that Tom Ford came into Gucci as the creative director to reinvent Gucci. Tom Ford and Domenico were the perfect combinations because they had the zeal to save the company. They took different parts of the company and finally united them. It was in 1995 that Domenico became CEO of all Gucci groups. At this point, the company’s pricing, product design, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution became a single system that represented one brand – Gucci.
The first step by Tom Ford and Domenico was to seek out the right direction for the brand. They did this by choosing to focus on fashion to influence customer perception positively. They switched from classic products to fashion-conscious products. The brand relaunched its leather goods, shoes, and ready-to-wear collections with a glamorous and sexy edge. Their target audience was no longer older and wealthy customers but those that were fashion-conscious. The customers were youthful, modern, urban, and not restricted by age. Although this new customer base didn’t have brand loyalty, they were sure to replace everything they had every season to follow recent fashion trends. This trend ensured steady sales for the brand, which showed they were a good customer base. They also repriced items in their collection by lowering prices. This new move placed the brand next to Prada and Louis Vuitton.
The Gucci History and Changes After Tom Ford
The years after Tom Ford’s departure from the brand held significant changes for the company. There’ll always be a big hole in Gucci history and the brand’s image without Tom Ford. In addition, many fashion enthusiasts lost a lot of respect for the Gucci brand following Tom Ford’s exit. After his departure, Gucci announced three designers who would be leading the design team. Alessandra Facchinetti was in charge of Gucci’s womenswear. John Ray was in charge of menswear, and Frida Giannini took over as creative director of accessories. All three designers made significant contributions to Gucci but found it challenging to replace Tom Ford.
Alessandra Facchinetti decided to quit after two seasons, and Frida Giannini replaced her. In 2006, Giannini became the creative director of the entire Gucci label. Her early designs showed a repudiation of Tom Ford’s raw sexiness, which earned her low grades amongst fashion critics. However, her relaunch of the flora pattern rather than focusing on the double-G logo was successful. She has faired quite well over the years, and her collections continue to enjoy commercial success. However, many would argue that she hasn’t still been able to measure up or achieve Ford’s level of success. In 2008, the brand aired its first TV campaign for the Gucci scent. In 2009, the iconic flora by Gucci fragrance was launched.
Strategies Utilized by Gucci
Gucci history is filled with many success stories today due to many effective strategies utilized by the brand. In this section, we’ll be covering the top strategies that proved effective for the brand.
Research the Market
The Gucci history reflects that the brand was always innovative about the market it wanted to explore. It was also clear what market the brand wasn’t interested in. When the brand invaded the American market, it was successful; it was a golden era for the brand. Celebrities were willing to popularize the brand, and it worked in the brand’s success. The brand recognized that the film industry was at its peak in America, and many actors/actresses were already associated with brands. Gucci took advantage of this hype and was also associated with top actors and actresses. The brand was also humble enough to create a flora scarf for the princess of Monaco, and this became the ‘Flora’ signature brand style. The brand was able to localize this design and convert it into a collection.
Seeing as no one had ever created a floral design collection as Gucci did, it got some free promotional buzz. When the brand entered the east, it also researched which markets the luxury customers resided in. Research showed it was the Chinese and Japanese consumers, and the brand focused on them. It created a new collection when they became associated with a sex appeal. This approach was new because no runway was doing this at the time, which helped them gain attraction. This approach was successful for the brand, and it showed they had a sales spike of $10 billion in profits.
Brand’s Authenticity and Technological Integration
Gucci is famous for its contribution to the fashion world and for breaking stereotypes and boundaries. It successfully did this and established a brand aesthetic of its own. The brand womenswear collection experienced a redesign to include androgynous identity fashion. This strategy proved to be a streak of success for the brand. Therefore, Gucci history reflects success today because the brand always launches new collections with a cohesive message in their ads. They reflected this message in the collections, campaigns, and even in-store experiences.
With technology continually evolving and playing an essential routine in today’s lives, Gucci tries to create a more personalized service for its smartphone customer. As a result, it opened call centres where Gucci expert shop assistants can help customers everywhere and at any time. The call centres are all in Florence, but the company plans to open five more stores. The idea is to enhance the feeling of inclusivity and easy accessibility within its customers. In addition, the company wants the customers and their staff to have a personalized experience to improve customer engagement.
Diversity and Inclusivity
Many brands strive today to have fair representations of all cultures, gender, and races in their company. There are sensitive discussions around these topics, and they affect all customers globally. Therefore, it has become imperative that brands make customers feel inclusive and provide a fair representation to become successful. Gucci history shows that Gucci has always been able to fit a diverse range of markets. It also created a shadow community in its workplace consisting of millennials and Gen z who meet with technology experts. This shadow community consistently discussed ideas and approaches they could implement within the brand. Its vast inclusive nature is why the brand enjoys loyal customers and has a happy workplace.
Gucci Promotion Strategy
This company makes itself visible using different platforms like social media, look books, banners, print media, and many more. Your marketing campaigns on social media platforms like YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest. They also utilize different bloggers and influencers to promote their content on social media. In addition, this brand also has a style app that features different fashion tips, interactive videos, geo-location tops, amongst many. The company understands the need to connect Gucci history with the contemporary outlook of the consumers. Therefore, they successfully leverage the heritage of Gucci and its craftsmanship in their promotions.
The fashion industry has an ever-increasing demand, and top brands are rolling at a breakneck pace to meet these demands. Gucci is amongst the top fashion brands and has maintained its spot despite the emergence of new brands. In this article, you’ll learn all about Gucci history and how the brand grew over the years. It also explores the different strategies implemented by the brand to make it the success it is today.