Hey, what’s up, guys? This is Brand Breakdown, and I’m your host, Matt Young. Brand Breakdown is a show where we take a company, break down its brand perception, and paint a picture of how people came to perceive it that way. If you want us to review your brand, drop a comment or email me at


Today’s brand is Gucci, a high-end clothing brand that turns 100 years old next year in 2021. Gucci is often perceived as luxury and elite, inaccessible to the average consumer. It is reserved for those of a higher social standing, so many strive to be able to wear their products as signals of wealth and success.

I looked on their site before putting this video together, and their tennis shoes cost over $600. Isn’t that insane? But that’s one of the ways they target their audience. There is a whole market for apparel that costs more than the general public can afford, which gives it a feeling of exclusivity reserved for the successful. This feeling of elitism permeates the Gucci brand and everything they produce. It’s why it’s so highly sought after.

If just any apparel company today started pricing their clothing through the roof, they would go out of business very quickly due to a lack of sales. Gucci positioned themselves using influences from Paris, an international fashion hub for the last 150 years.

Gucci’s founder is Guccio Gucci, whose initials, GG, can be found all over Gucci’s products. In 1921 he first opened a small leather-goods shop in Florence, Italy. Around 30 years later, WWII had caused a shortage of leather, so Gucci created its first signature material, woven hemp with small interconnected brown diamonds. Gucci soon after packed his bags and moved to New York with his son to grow the business in America.

One of the things that Gucci noticed while in Paris was that the wealthy all wore items related to horses like racing and polo shirts. This inspiration carried on through several decades, and when brought to America was an instant hit in the form of Gucci loafers, which people came to associate with the European aristocrats.

Gucci Controversies

After this success, Gucci opened up several stores on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, but cultural problems within the company like rude salespeople and siestas in New York eventually led Gucci to desperation. They began releasing cheap items like lighters and keychains that ultimately hurt the brand image, and internal family problems with Gucci caused drastic changes in management.


In the early 1990s, a man named Tom Ford with incredible insight into the fashion industry took over and revamped Gucci into a sexy, modern brand while maintaining its French and Italian design roots. This is the Gucci brand that people know today: an aged, sophisticated brand with an understanding of modern design and a history of high-end tastes.

One of the ways that Gucci stays up to date with its market is by using material from environmentally friendly sources as well as doing their best to reduce waste, paper, and water in all offices, warehouses, stores, and production sites.


If you like our content about branding, want us to review your brand, or want to work with us, please let us know in the comments or by emailing me at This has been Brand Breakdown with your host, Matt Young. Peace.