Guccio Gucci founded the self-named fashion firm. His first store opened in 1921 in Florence, Italy, and it offered a variety of leather goods, including luggage, fashioned by Tuscan artisans.
During the 1930's, the products in Gucci's store were very popular among wealthy patrons around the world. Many of the customers were avid horse riders, and Gucci's iconic metal semi-circle was fashioned after a horsebit. Because of the rise of a dictatorship during the 1940s, leather became a rare commodity in Italy, so Gucci began using other materials, including hemp, bamboo and linen. Aldo Gucci, Guccio's oldest son, became head of the company at the end of that decade.