The House of Gucci, better known simply as Gucci (Italian pronunciation: [ɡuttʃʃi]), 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 €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 in the world. Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide (at September 2009) and it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores.
Beginning life as a workshop producing riding boots and hand luggage this famous leather goods and fashion accessories firm originated as a leather goods workshop in Florence in 1904. Founded by Guccio Gucci, the first shop opened in 1922. His son, Aldo, moved to New York in 1953 and succeeded in creating new markets for the company's products, attracting the attention of celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor. In the 1960s the double ‘G’ trademark, designed by Aldo's son Paolo, soon became a byword for high fashion in both the USA and Europe. However, following 1977 Paolo's rise to vice-presidency and managing directorships of Gucci Shops Inc. and Gucci Parfums of America, a series of vexatious family litigations and tax irregularities eventually led to the selling of 50 per cent of the company's shares to the Investcorp, an Arab investment bank. After a further period of family in-fighting during the 1980s the Guccis finally lost control of the company to Investcorp in 1994. Since then there has been significant investment in design and advertising and the company name has again been successful in the international market place.
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