This week I will be in Florence, one of my favorite cities. Last month in my previous blog, I had several posts on the city and its most famous family – The Medici: The Birthplace of the Renaissance, What Makes Florence So Special and Virtual Tour of The Renaissance
Before Florence became a renaissance museum, it was the fashion capital of Italy. Unfortunately, Milan took over the title as Florence didn’t have an international airport. So it turns out that Florence is not only the birthplace of the renaissance but also the place of origin for many famous luxury brands.
Guccio Guccio from Florence founded the brand in 1921 after returning from London, where he worked as a lift boy in a hotel and was inspired by the upper-class guests’ suitcases and style.
The above are original Gucci luggage that started it all.
Another famous Florence residence, Emilio Pucci, created his fashion house after the WWII which still today is famous for its geometric prints and bright colors.
Salvatore Ferragamo, the famous shoemaker, moved to the U.S. in his teens to try his luck and opened a shoe store that quickly caught the attention of famous Hollywood stars. He then returned to Italy to expand his business and found the best craftsmen in Florence.
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I wanted to show this one which has the lasts (wooden shoe shapes) that belonged to celebrities who Ferragamo made custom shoes for. Audrey Hepburn, Sofia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and many more wore his shoes. If you happen to be in Florence you can visit the Ferragamo museum and the Gucci museum.
The eldest son of Guccio Gucci, Aldo Gucci, once said “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.” I agree, the quality of a hand made in Italy product is incomparable with anything mass produced in China (I only use China as an example). Unfortunately, our market is swamped with short lasting Made in China products and luxury brands struggle to stay alive for that and many other economic reasons. An interesting documentary explains well the past and present of luxury fashion: The Secret World of Haute Couture.
Have a wonderful day!