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The House of Gucci, better known simply as Gucci (Italian pronunciation:Â [ËˆÉ¡uttÊƒi]), is an Italian fashion and leather goods label, part of the Gucci Group, which is owned by French company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR). Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence in 1921. Gucci generated circa â‚¬2.2 billion worldwide of revenue in 2008 according to BusinessWeek magazine and climbed to 41st position in the magazine’s annual 2009 “Top Global 100 Brands” chart created by Interbrand. Gucci is also the biggest-selling Italian brand. Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide (as of September 2009) and it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores.
Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci. In 1938, Gucci expanded and a boutique was opened in Rome. Guccio was responsible for designing many of the company’s products. In 1947, Gucci introduced the Bamboo handle handbag, which is still a company mainstay. During the 1950s, Gucci also developed the trademark striped webbing, which was derived from the saddle girth, and the suede moccasin with a metal horsebit. His wife Aida Calvelli had a large family, though only the sonsâ€”Vasco, Aldo, Ugo, and Rodolfoâ€”would play a role in leading the company. After Guccio’s death in 1953, Aldo helped lead the company to a position of International prominence, opening the companyâ€™s first boutique in New York. Rodolfo initially tried to start an acting career as a matinee idol but soon returned to help direct the company. Even in Gucciâ€™s fledgling years, the family was notorious for its ferocious infighting. Disputes regarding inheritances, stock holdings, and day-to-day operations of the stores often divided the family and led to alliances. Gucci expanded overseas, board meetings about the companyâ€™s future often ended with tempers flaring and luggage and purses flying. Gucci targeted the Far East for further expansion in the late 1960s, opening stores in Hong Kong and Tokyo. At that time, the company also developed its famous GG logo (Guccio Gucci’s initials), the Flora silk scarf (worn prominently by Hollywood actress Grace Kelly), and the Jackie O shoulder bag, made famous by Jackie Kennedy, the wife of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.