Gucci workshop, Lungarno Guicciardini 11, Florence, 1940s | Gucci Archive
Gucci workshop, Lungarno Guicciardini 11, Florence, 1940s | Gucci Archive
Gucci workshop, Lungarno Guicciardini 11, Florence, 1940s | Gucci Archive
Gucci workshop, Lungarno Guicciardini 11, Florence, 1940s | Gucci Archive

Gucci workshop, Lungarno Guicciardini 11, Florence, 1940s | Gucci Archive

History of Gucci

Since its founding in 1921, Gucci has transformed from a single shop opened on a side street in Florence to its position today as a world-renowned symbol of Italian craft, visionary creativity, and innovative design. Both mirroring and defining the decades that brought it forth, the House's history has itself influenced fashion and culture in indelible ways throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Artisans in Gucci workshop, Florence, 1953 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
Artisans in Gucci workshop, Florence, 1953 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
Artisans in Gucci workshop, Florence, 1953 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
Artisans in Gucci workshop, Florence, 1953 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze

Artisans in Gucci workshop, Florence, 1953 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze

Gucci: a Timeline

Spanning more than a century, the history of the House reveals a vision in continuous evolution. Each decade holds a series of milestones, defining the brand's transformation from a small luggage atelier to a global leader in luxury fashion.

Gucci advertisement for luggage, 1922 | Gucci Archive
Gucci advertisement for luggage, 1922 | Gucci Archive
Gucci advertisement for luggage, 1922 | Gucci Archive
Gucci advertisement for luggage, 1922 | Gucci Archive

1920s & 1930s

Inspired by his experience as a porter at The Savoy hotel in London, Guccio Gucci established his eponymous artisanal luggage atelier in 1921 on Via della Vigna Nuova in Florence. His vision combined exceptional Tuscan materials and craftsmanship with the elegant English aesthetic. These early years established the brand's origins in the world of travel and exploration, which have remained intrinsically linked to Gucci's heritage.
The late 1930s saw the introduction of canvas into the offering to provide enhanced durability. The Diamante fabric emerged and became one of the first distinctive elements of the House with its emblematic diamond motif. This was a precursor of the GG monogram canvas still featured today on a selection of bags.

Loafer production card, 1950s | Gucci Archive
Loafer production card, 1950s | Gucci Archive
Loafer production card, 1950s | Gucci Archive
Loafer production card, 1950s | Gucci Archive

Loafer production card, 1950s | Gucci Archive

Silk scarf with Flora motif, 1960s | Gucci Archive
Silk scarf with Flora motif, 1960s | Gucci Archive
Silk scarf with Flora motif, 1960s | Gucci Archive
Silk scarf with Flora motif, 1960s | Gucci Archive

Silk scarf with Flora motif, 1960s | Gucci Archive

1950s & 1960s

As Gucci continued to grow rapidly, the brand's influence spread to an international clientele of jet setters, Hollywood stars, dignitaries, and socialites. Signature products and prints emerging during this period included the predecessor to the Jackie 1961 bag, the GG monogram, and the Flora motif.

Gucci store in Florence, 1980 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
Gucci store in Florence, 1980 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
Gucci store in Florence, 1980 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze
Gucci store in Florence, 1980 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze

Gucci store in Florence, 1980 | © Archivio Foto Locchi Firenze

1970s & 1980s

After Gucci began producing ready-to-wear in the mid-1960s, it opened its first clothing-dedicated store at 699 Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1972. The 1970s also saw the beginning of its collection presentations, frequently set at the St. Regis.
In 1981, the House debuted a Flora-inspired collection at the Sala Bianca in Florence during the fashion shows at Palazzo Pitti, the predecessor to Milan Fashion Week. During this period, Gucci also grew its selection of lifestyle items with board games, tennis gear, umbrellas, dog carriers, and décor.

Gucci Archive in Palazzo Settimanni, Florence, 2021
Gucci Archive in Palazzo Settimanni, Florence, 2021
Gucci Archive in Palazzo Settimanni, Florence, 2021
Gucci Archive in Palazzo Settimanni, Florence, 2021

Gucci Archive in Palazzo Settimanni, Florence, 2021

1990s & 2000s

The end of the 20th century marked the beginning of an era in which designers were called upon to bring their unique perspectives to the brand as creative directors:
1994: Tom Ford
2006: Frida Giannini
2015: Alessandro Michele
2023: Sabato De Sarno