|Gucci Group N.V.|
|Phone:||(Netherlands:) 31 20 462 1700, (Italy:) 39 055 7592 21|
|Fax:||(Netherlands:) 31 20 465 3569|
|Address:||(Netherlands:) Rembrandt Tower, 1 Amstelplein, 1096 HA Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Italy:) via Don Lorenzo Perosi, 6 Casellina di Scandicci, 50018 Florence, Italy|
|Parents:||Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (68%), Crédit Lyonnais (11%)|
Gucci Group N.V. (or Gucci), is an Italian haute couture establishment.
As of 2004, the Gucci Group had whole or partial interests in the following companies or brands:
- Bedat & Co (85%)
Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci (1881-1953) in Florence (Italy) in 1921.
Guccio Gucci was the son of a leather craftsman. As a young man, he travelled to Paris and then London, where he "gained an appreciation of cosmopolitan culture, sophistication, and aesthetics". At age 39, he returned to his hometown of Florence in 1920 and in the following year, he opened the first Gucci shop, a small luggage and saddlery company. He sold exclusive leather goods created and produced by the best craftsmen he could hire. Within a few years, the small Florence shop grew and attracted a wide clientele base.
In 1938, Gucci expanded and a branch was opened in Rome.
In 1947, Gucci introduced the "bamboo handle handbag", which later became one of the company's icon products.
During the 1950s, the trademark striped webbing, which was derived from the saddle girth, became very popular. Another icon product, the moccasin with a metal bit was also introduced during this time. With the help of his sons - Aldo, Ugo, Vasco and Rodolfo - the company expanded rapidly. New Gucci outlets in Rome and Milan were opened, boosting business and further promoting the Gucci brand.
While the company was enjoying its great successes, Guccio Gucci passed away in 1953, leaving it in the hands of Rodolfo Gucci and his brothers. The company steadily grew and became a international force in the fashion industry, and with operations in London, Paris, New York, and Palm Beach.
At the end of the 1960s, the company adopted the GG logo (the founder's initials) and targeted the Far East for further expansion, with stores opening in Hong Kong and Tokyo. The 'Flora' silk scarf worn by Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, and the Jackie O shoulder bag used by [[wikipedia:Jackie Kennedy|Jackie Kennedy], the wife of a U.S. President, became wildly popular icon products around the world.
By the 1980s, business leadership of the company eventually passed on to Rodolfo's son, Maurizio Gucci, but most of his cousins have already left. Between 1987 and 1989 the family sold a 50% share in the company to Investcorp, a Bahrain-based investment company.
In the early 1990s, Gucci underwent what is now recognised as the poorest time in the company's history. The brand was rapidly expanded which had an adverse effect of the desirability of the brand, product quality and distribution control. In a 2004 special on the luxury goods industry, The Economist (from The Economist Group) wrote that Gucci was "near crippled" by the uncontrolled expansion.
In 1993, Maurizio Gucci sold the remaining 50% of the to Investcorp, and it was renamed "Gucci Group NV". One of the firm's designers, Tom Ford was appointed Creative Director and assigned the task of bringing the company around. This was largely accomplished with a reigning in of the brand. Gucci Group was launched as became a publicly traded company in 1995, listing on the New York and Amsterdam stock exchanges. The company issued further shares in 1996.
In 1999 Gucci launched a "strategic alliance" with Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR), which involved issuing more shares, sold only to PPR in order to finance growth. PPR now owns 68% of the group. The second largest shareholder is Credit Lyonnais with 11%
Using the capital obtained from the PPR issue, the Group has steadily expanded beyond just the Gucci brand through a series of takeovers.
Since the turnaround of the mid-1990s Gucci has continued to prosper as an influential fashion house and a highly profitable business operation. The Gucci brand is considered one of the most frequently mentioned brands.
The firm was named "European Company of the Year 1998 by the European Business Press Federation for its economic and financial performance, strategic vision as well as management quality.