Friday, May 1, 2009

Gucci, Gucci Gu

When I stopped to take a phone of Munich’s one Gucci store on the extravagant Maximillian strasse, how appropriate it was that a woman walks by wearing a sequent dress and carrying a bag that could have been bought by the Italian luxury retailer. Gucci opened its Munich store in December of 2008 to much glitz and glamour. You can see photos of the event here. Many German actors, models and celebrities showed up for the party. Despite all the cheap imitation bags, Gucci sure has figured this image thing out. It’s the largest selling Italian brand in the world generated $8.2 billion worldwide in 2008, and the 45th most recognized brand in the world, according to Business Week. The company was created in 1921 by Cuccio Gucci to the south in Florence, and today operates 425 stores worldwide. It reached its height of stature in the 1960s with stars like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Jacqueline Onassis toting its products, but by the 80s had been labeled a tacky airport brand by Vanity Fair. It was a family shake up in 1983 that for the first time in years left a single person, Marizio Gucci, running the company – and brought the brand back to prominence. And culturally, the product is everywhere and a mainstay in Hollywood, with mentions in Pretty Woman, Main in Manhattan, Legally Blond, the Devil wears Prada, and Sex in the City

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