1975 : Gucci No. 1, the brand’s first scent, debuts.
1962 : The New York Times declares Gucci’s bamboo-handled bag as the “new fashion status symbol.”
Aldo Gucci had the foresight to bring his wares to an increasingly wealthy American market during the boom years that followed World War II. At that time, legions of consumers in the United States were itching to spend their new disposable income on status symbols, and Gucci’s fine Florentine workmanship and equestrian details offered a taste of the exotic to the women who might only recently have traveled abroad for the first time. Celebrity endorsements, of which the Guccis were early proponents, only added to the allure.
The popularity of the brand was both a blessing and a curse. By the early 1980s overzealous licensing (which, as Women’s Wear Daily later reported, resulted in the logo appearing “on everything from key chains to coffee mugs”) had tarnished the label’s identity. Meanwhile, vicious infighting—sparked by Paolo’s desire to break out on his own, and his father’s reluctance to let him take his valuable name with him—led to the Gucci family ultimately losing control of the company in 1993.