1954 : As Rome enters the Dolce Vita era of postwar prosperity (and the jet set descend on the city), Gucci builds a reputation as a favorite of European society. While starring in Roberto Rossellini’s Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy), out this year, a young Ingrid Bergman can be seen carrying a bamboo-handled Gucci umbrella and bag.
1990 : Eighty-four-year-old Aldo Gucci dies in Rome. Dawn Mello will hire a young designer from New York called Tom Ford (at the time working at Perry Ellis under Marc Jacobs) to work under design director Richard Lamberston on women’s ready-to-wear. Following cutbacks, Ford soon finds himself also designing menswear, as well as shoes and handbags.
“I would be stupid and arrogant to say that I didn’t feel Tom’s weight,” Giannini said in 2006, reflecting on her debut collection. But by introducing lighter colors and more prints, and toning down the aggressively sexual overtones—which were beginning to look a bit dated in the less hedonistic light of the new millennium—she has won both critical accolades and a new crop of Gucci devotees.
1902 : Now 21, Gucci marries Aida Calvelli, a 24-year-old dressmaker and tailor’s daughter.