GUCCI

The 1972 Hornet was one of the first American cars to be produced in a special configuration created by a designer.

By Test

GUCCI

The Italian fashion house Gucci, a manufacturer of clothing, perfumes, accessories, and textiles, belongs to the French conglomerate Kering, which until June 2013 was called Pinault-Printemps-Redoute. Gucci is the second-largest fashion company after LVMH in terms of sales.

The Gucci fashion house was founded by Guccio Gucci (1881-1953) in Florence in 1904. In his youth, Guccio lived for some time in London, where he worked as a waiter at the Savoy Hotel. The leather bags and suitcases of the guests made such an impression on him that, returning to Florence, he decided to engage in saddlery and opened a workshop that was involved in the manufacture of saddles, riding boots, and suitcases. In 1938, Guccio opened his brand store in Rome. 1947 is the year of birth of the bag with bamboo handles. The fabric with a pattern of interwoven ribbons and suede loafers with metal fasteners first appeared in the 1950s, which later has become one of Gucci's signature pieces.

Under Guccio Gucci, the stability of the enterprise was strong; however, after his death, his children and grandchildren got involved in lengthy and costly property disputes. The most prominent lawyers of the country profited from those disagreements. Now the family is extremely ashamed of the manifestations of anger and revenge of their ancestors who accompanied these disputes.

After the death of Guccio in 1953, his business was transferred to his sons Aldo and Rodolfo, each of whom received a 50% stake in the company. Aldo then moved from Italy to the United States, where he was able to expand his business by opening stores in New York, London, and Paris, and then, in the late 1960s, in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seoul.

At this time, a modern company logo had appeared: the intertwined letters GG (the initials of Guccio Gucci), the silk Flora scarf, worn by Grace Kelly, and the 'Jackie O' bag with a handle over the shoulder which Jackie Kennedy has made famous.

Aldo Gucci expanded the interests of the company by entering into an agreement with American Motors: the 1972 Hornet Sportabout wagon was one of the first American cars to be produced in a special configuration created by a designer from the fashion world. The interior was covered in beige fabric with green and red stripes on it with Gucci logos, and the body color was specially selected in accordance with the designer's solution.

In 1977, Aldo appointed his son Paolo as vice president and general manager of Gucci Shops Inc and the American perfumery unit of Gucci Parfums. Thanks to the weakened management on the part of his brother, who lived in Italy, the main control over the perfumery department passed to his family. At the same time, Rodolfo retained a package of only 20% of the shares.

In 1978, Paolo, who wanted to modernize and expand the production, was suspended from work at the Italian unit, because Rodolfo wanted to keep the exclusive production of the hand-made quality, which led to an open conflict between his uncle and his nephew.

In the late 1970s, a series of incorrect business decisions and family quarrels almost led the company to bankruptcy. In 1979, Aldo, wanting to support the Gucci Parfums perfume line, launched the Gucci Accessories Collection line, which included small accessories such as cosmetic bags, pens, and lighters, which were much cheaper than the staple accessories manufactured by the company.

The products of the Gucci Accessories Collection line was more marketable than the expensive products of the company, and this fact was one of the main reasons for the decline. The demand for exclusive products fell, while many stores were flooded with cheap stuff from Gucci; the company's reputation had been undermined.

Gucci remained one of the premier luxury goods establishments in the world until the late 1970s when a series of disastrous business decisions and family quarrels brought the company to the verge of bankruptcy. 'In the 1960s and 1970s,' wrote Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, 'Gucci has been at the pinnacle of chic, thanks to icons such as Audrey Hepburn. But by the 1980s, Gucci had lost its appeal, becoming a tacky airport brand.'

1972 amc hornet gucci sport about edition open trunk 1972 amc hornet gucci sportabout edition interior

In the early 1980s, Paolo Gucci wanted to produce products under his name. In order to win this right, he had to go to court. In response, Aldo dismissed his son from all his posts, after which Paolo informed the US Internal Revenue Service about the financial fraud of his father. As a result, in 1986, Aldo Gucci was convicted of using offshore companies to hide profits and tax evasion in the amount of $ 7 million. Aldo was sentenced to imprisonment for one year and one day (also, in 1994, Paolo spent five weeks in jail for non-payment of alimony, worth nearly half a million dollars to his former second wife Jenny Garwood for the support of their daughter Gemma).

In 1987, Paolo, according to some reports, sold his stake in Investcorp's family business for $41 million. At the same time, he announced a debt of $90 million. Trying to avoid bankruptcy and wanting to pay off the debt, a week before his death, he signed a plan for restructuring his own debts. His unexpected death caused a battle for the estate in the form of a manor and stables with purebred Arabian horses in Rasper, West Sussex (UK), estimated at 3 million pounds, between his second wife Jenny Garwood and the last wife, Penny Armstrong.

In 1983, after the death of Rodolfo, his share in the company passed to his son Maurizio Gucci, which resulted in another conflict between the two branches of the family.

Maurizio, along with Paolo, the son of Aldo, decided to increase his influence on the Board of Directors of the company and formed a department of Gucci Licensing in the Netherlands for this purpose. After the rest of the family had left the company, for the first time in many years, only one person was at the helm of Gucci. Maurizio ended the family odds that were tearing the company apart from the inside and decided to look for other talents for the future of Gucci.

to be continued...

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