Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Chase Reiner
Gucci is owned by French luxury group Kering. Founded in 1921, Gucci represents high-end fashion, renowned for its Italian craftsmanship and iconic double G logo. Good: Innovative designs. Bad: Past controversies. Ugly: $10M fine for tax evasion (2013).
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History of Gucci
By 1921, Guccio was ready to show his designs in Florence. His new collection was heavily influenced by his travels around Egypt and India and classical European designs. The clothes were an immediate hit with not only wealthy Italians but also celebrities like Marlene Dietrich and Ava Gardner.
The fact that stars liked Gucci’s clothes eventually led him to Hollywood, where he became a sought-after costume designer for films such as Roman Holiday and North by Northwest. Ironically, it wasn’t until after he died that his son, Tom, the current head of design at Yves Saint Laurent, gave Gucci its first bit of popularity in America.
He revamped their image and launched several successful fragrances, including Gucci Rush. He also created several memorable ad campaigns featuring everyone from Sean Connery to Kate Moss.
Today, Gucci is owned by French holding company Kering SA, formerly PPR. It has over ten thousand employees worldwide, and it has stores all over Europe and locations in Asia, Australia, South America, Africa, and Russia.
Its products are sold through department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and high-end boutiques throughout Europe and Asia.
Who Owns Gucci?
During the Gucci bankruptcy, the brand was owned by hedge funds, JPMorgan Chase, and Altima Capital. Kering bought Gucci shortly after its first bankruptcy. Gucci is now a subsidiary of Kering that owns brands like Balenciaga, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen.
Kering has been in control of Gucci for several years now and has been steadily revamping the brand.
Kering also owns a majority stake in Puma, the German sportswear company. It purchased a fifty-one percent controlling stake in Puma in 2016. The remainder of Puma is publicly traded and owned by the Puma family.
What Does Gucci Stand For?
According to Mr. Polet, Gucci stands for classic design and modern interpretation; quality materials; craftsmanship; attention to detail; timeless elegance; trend awareness; and above everything else: heritage. These values remain unchanged despite recent changes at the company.
Gucci stands for excellence and luxury. The brand started as a luggage and leather goods company. It has become one of the most recognized luxury brands globally, with various products, including handbags, footwear, fragrances, eyewear, and more.
Gucci is a global brand with an extensive network of retail stores worldwide. The brand portfolio includes Gucci, Gucci Premiere, Gucci Lab, and Gucci Garden.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about Gucci
Gucci, a renowned luxury fashion brand, has been delighting its consumers with opulent fashion statements since 1921. From clothing, accessories to footwear, Gucci has left its mark on the international fashion industry. However, like all entities, the famous Italian brand has its highs and lows. Here is the comprehensive breakdown of the good, bad, and ugly about Gucci.
- Quality Products: Gucci is known for producing high-quality products that demonstrate fine Italian craftsmanship. Their attention to detail and excellent materials used always stand out.
- Historical Heritage: With a rich history dating back to the 1920s, Gucci draws from its heritage to create modern designs with a classic touch.
- Strong Brand Identity: Gucci’s brand image has consistently represented luxury, garnering a broad following worldwide.
- High Price Points: It is noteworthy to mention that Gucci’s price tags are high due to their quality and brand image. However, this makes their items inaccessible for many potential customers.
- Limited Accessibility: The exclusivity of Gucci’s market often isolates customers who cannot access their brick-and-mortar stores. Moreover, their online presence could be increased.
- Fast Fashion Problems: Being a part of the high-fashion industry, Gucci releases new collections every season leading to limited lifespan for many products.
- Controversial Designs: Gucci has been involved in several controversies due to their design choices that were considered offensive or politically incorrect.
- Sustainability Concerns: Like many luxury brands, sustainability appears to be an issue for Gucci, given the environmental impacts associated with their production cycle.
- Less Transparent Supply Chain: Questions have been raised about Gucci’s supply chain transparency, concerning workers’ rights and welfare.
Gucci’s Fall and Comeback
Following the lead of Yves Saint Laurent and other designers, Michele and Amedeo created a more edgy Gucci look. Gucci bags gained a reputation for high quality and are extremely expensive. The bags cost as much as one thousand five hundred dollars.
The brand’s bags have such a high price tag because they are made from high-quality materials. Gucci bags are alligator skin, python skin, and crocodile skin. Other bags are made from high-quality materials and are finished with quality details, like gold-plated hardware.
Gucci became synonymous with luxury and its products with quality. Gucci’s products are expensive because the brand spends much on materials and craftsmanship.
Gucci’s high-quality bags became a problem when hedge funds acquired the company. The hedge funds acquired Gucci in 2011 and 2012 and did so with an eye toward quick profits.
Gucci began to cut back on materials, and the brand’s iconic bags became less high-quality. Gucci also began to sell products at lower prices, and the changes resulted in low sales. Consumers were not happy with Gucci’s lower-quality bags, and sales plummeted. Gucci also had to deal with counterfeiters in several countries.
Gucci also had issues with its supply chain as it was a mess, and delivery times were excessive. Gucci’s supply chain problems and low-quality products caused sales to drop even further. The brand had issues with its marketing and branding as the ads and marketing campaigns weren’t resonating with consumers.
In 2015, Michael Kors Holdings Limited bought a majority share of luxury brand Gucci from Invest Corp. Though some investors were disappointed that Michael Kors did not buy all of Gucci, most people agreed that it was an excellent move for both companies. Invest Corp had taken control of Gucci in 2015 and hoped to take it public but has been unsuccessful in finding an appropriate time to do so.
By taking control of Gucci, Michael Kors created a new business vertical with a wide range of potential products while remaining focused on its core footwear, handbags, and accessories brands.
The company can use Gucci’s image to increase sales of other items, such as watches and sunglasses.
The New Management and Corporate Structure
There is no bigger brand than Gucci in luxury goods and fashion. The company’s signature loafer, bags, and wallets are easily recognizable worldwide, from New York to London.
More recently, however, Gucci has had some financial woes. As a result of their 2015 annual report, it is known that Gucci has fallen since 2010; the brand lost eight hundred million dollars in market value compared to 2013.
Despite working on strategies to bring their image back into favor with consumers, though, including holding two major product launches last year, brands should always be aware of how they will respond if things don’t go according to plan.
In light of an increasingly competitive market, with younger consumers favoring inexpensive labels over pricey ones, things aren’t going so well for Alessandro Michele and his team.
While we’re talking about who owns Gucci now, it’s worth noting that there have been some changes at the management level too. The most significant change was when Marco Bizzarri took over from Domenico De Sole as CEO in 2016; De Sole had held that position since 2003. Bizzarri is currently responsible for overseeing Gucci’s day-to-day operations and strategy, while De Sole acts as executive chairman of Kering.
The Future of Gucci
Despite tough economic times, Italian fashion house Gucci’s president and CEO Robert Polet confirmed that he believed that business would pick up.
Gucci is headed eastward. But even though Gucci has made some recent changes to its brand image and designs, it still has plenty of loyal customers who see themselves as part of a long tradition dating back decades.
Gucci has undergone a massive transformation since its first bankruptcy. The brand has been repositioned and rebranded by Kering.
The brand has expanded its handbag offerings, including athletic shoes and sneakers, including various styles, designs, and footwear. Gucci has also partnered with the NBA and has increased its product development in fragrances.
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