Born in Florence in 1881, Guccio Gucci worked as an elevator operator at upper class hotels in Paris and London as a teenager. He became fascinated by the beautiful leather goods that the hotel guests carried, inspiring him to return to his native Florence where he set up his own shop in 1921 selling saddlery, and eventually high-end leather handbags, shoes (including the loafers that the company would come to be known for), knitwear, and silks in Gucci’s signature pattern and style. As World War II raged on, war rations on materials would cause Guccio to replace leather for canvas when crafting his Gucci handbags. To compensate for this change, Gucci decided to embellish his handbags with the addition of vibrant red and green bands printed on the canvas, as well as the double “G” or “Gucci crest” – iconography that would come to globally represent high fashion and serve as a symbol for the city of Florence. Creative powerhouses from Tom Ford to Alessandro Michele have evolved and shaped the brand during their tenure, designing some of the most popular Gucci handbag designs, including the Dionysus handbag, Marmont, Sylvie, and Jackie O bags.