Founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, Gucci is Italy’s biggest-selling manufacturer of high-end leather goods, clothing and other fashion products. As an hotel worker in Paris and London, Guccio Gucci was impressed with the luxurious luggage the upperclass guests carried with them. When he returned to his birthplace of Florence, he established a shop in 1920 that sold fine leather goods with classic styling. In the 1950s, Gucci’s son Aldo decided to add shoes to the collection.
In the 1960s loafers moved from purely casual use to being paired with suits. In 1966, Gucci added a metal strap across the front of the loafer in the shape of a horse’s snaffle bit. The Gucci loafers were an instant success: Hollywood stars from Peter Sellers in 1966 to Francis Ford Coppola in 1970 were spotted on the Gucci loafer. And in the 1970s they were worn by businessmen, becoming almost a Wall Street uniform. The Gucci loafer is now a general term referring to shoes of this style by any manufacturer. Later, the Gucci loafer is welcomed in the collection of The Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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