The Gucci wristwatch legend started in 1921 when Guccio Gucci opened a shop in his native Florence selling leather goods and accessories. Having spent time in London he was aware that quality goods would always command premium prices and would always find a ready market.
Throughout the next decade Gucci gained a reputation for quality and exclusivity among the well-to-do of Florence and indeed around the world. As well as clothing Gucci was making bags and accessories to complement the range.
Throughout the years of World War II Gucci proved resourceful and popularity increased by clever use of more common materials like bamboo to make a bamboo bag. This simple addition to the range of goods on offer proved incredibly popular and is still available in much the same form today.
The 1950s proved to be a time when the company's fortunes were to grow rapidly. Gucci set up stores around the globe, including New York, London, Paris, Milan and Beverley Hills. The founder finally succumed to illness in 1953 and this left the door open for his four Sons, Vasco, Ugo, Aldo and Rodolfo to take over the running of the business.
As more and more celebrities found the Gucci brand, so the fortunes of the company grew further. Gucci was the brand of the moment and to be seen with anything else than Gucci was not the done thing! Gucci handbags, Gucci wristwatch and other accessories hit the market. Soon stores were opened in Hong Kong and Tokyo which allowed the company to expand its already wide range of goods to an ever growing market.
For nearly 60 years the company remained a private concern, but in the 1980s pressure was mounting to globalize the company further. It was with this in mind that the company went public in 1982, with another family member, Maurizio Gucci, the son of Rodlfo, taking a 50% stake. For the first time in 1984 the company was half owned by a non-family concern, that of Investcorp, a Bahrain based company.
In 1998 Gucci was named as the "European Company of the Year" under the guidance of the new CEO, Domenco De Sole, and in 1999 a partnership with Pinault-Printemps-Redoute gave the company the necessary resources to become a multi-brand company. The continuance of the Gucci wristwatch product became a mainsaty of the company.
Today Gucci is run by its President and CEO, Mark Lee. The commitment to innovation, quality and craftmanship is clearly still the mainstay of the company as it continues to command high regard by its peers and industry critics.
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