Today’s big brands were not that big when they were opened, but the vision of the person who opened that store was very big. We only see all the hype behind expensive brands and forget the people who were behind that store. They probably never dreamed that their clothes would sell of thousands of dollars in entire world. Here are the stories behind some of those one-names designers.
Gucci was opened in 1906 by Guccio Gucci with a small saddlery shop. He started selling leather bags to his horsemen customers.The leather quality was so good that he quickly gained a reputation and started to expand his line. By the year 1938, he had opened his second store in Rome, the third in Milan in 1951 and forth in Manhattan in 1953. Later, Guccio died and his sons were running the business.80’s were not good for Gucci, Guccio grandsons lower down the qualities of the products and when Rodolfo Gucci died in 1983. He left his share to his son Maurizio, Maurizio pushed out his uncle Aldo and eventually sold the company, which went public. Non-Gucci family members were bought in as designers, presidents and CEOs and the brand has flourished since.
Prada was founded by Mario Prada in the year 1913 in Italy. Mario started holding trucks and imported handbags.They also have a similar story like Gucci. When Mario passed away in 50’s, his son wasn’t really interested in taking over the leather goods store.His daughter-in-law took control over the business and maintained the store for 20 years.In the late 70’s her daughter Miuccia took over and the brand really exploded.She started designing leather backpacks and totes and later opened a second store which was a boutique. Later clothes were added and after that high fashion market began since ever.
Versace is the newest brand on the list. It wad founded just 31 years ago by Gianni Versace. He grew up helping his mother, a dressmaker, embroider dresses and do tailoring.In the early days of his life he studied architecture and moved to Milan.After working with couple of designers, he was ready to start his own brand and opened his first store in Milan in 1978.His vision exploded around the world quickly.Later Gianni was killed in the year 1977, his sister Donatella stepped in to run the company.
Burberry was founded in 1856, the second oldest house on the list. Thomas Burberry opened a store in Hampshire, England to focus on practical outdoor wear. He did some experiment and invented gabardine in 1880 which was a fabric made from yarn that is waterproofed. Based on his reputation, he was asked by War officer to make a better coat for their officers. The result was the trench coat which went famous in the year 1924.
Chanel was founded by Gabrielle Chanel known as Coco. She was only 12 year old when her mother died. Her father then abandoned the family. Coco and her siblings were sent to orphanage where she learned how to sew. After when she turns 18, she fled the orphanage and went to work for a tailor. In the year 1910, she opened her first store with Etienne Balsen. The store failed because of her affair with Balsen former best friend Arthur Capel. Sooner, she opened another store which went successful this time. After World War II, coco died in 1971. Her business partner Pierre Weartheimer took over business and owned Chanel ever since. You can also read more about her struggle days here.