The Faces and Stories Behind Your Favorite Designer Brands

I’m sure that most of you reading have heard of some of the most common designer brands such as “Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Versace”, but have you ever been able to name the big guns of the operations or tell their stories? If you saw Alessandro Michele walking the streets of Europe, would you be able to tell the person next to you that he was the Creative Director of Gucci? Probably not. Maybe I sound nerdy and weirdly passionate, but I feel like it’s so important to be able to identify the masterminds, the brains of the operation, and the creative thinkers and artists that make fashion all that it is today.

Gucci | 1921; Florence, Italy

Marco Bizzarri — CEO of Gucci
Alessandro Michele — Gucci Head Creative Director and Fashion Designer
Guccio Gucci — Italian businessman, fashion designer, and founder of Gucci

In 1921, Guccio Gucci bought his own shop in Florence, Italy, where he sold imported leather luggage. His first talent was his craftsmanship in leather and he started out selling leather bags to horsemen in the 1920’s and progressed to luxury luggage as his clients graduated from equine transportation to horseless carriages. In 1938 Guccio Gucci opened his first retail shop in Rome.

The original Gucci shop in Rome. Circa 1921.
Original Gucci leather bags.

When one of Gucci’s favorite guys also happens to be one of your favorite guys… you guys wonder why Gucci is one of my all-time favorites!

And of course I have this perfume in every shape and size possible.

Harry and Alessandro Michele at the Met Gala in 2019. My heart can’t take it.

Louis Vuitton | 1854; Paris, France

Bernard Arnault — CEO of Louis Vuitton
Nicolas Ghesquière — Head Creative Director
Ghesquière Virgil Abloh — Louis Vuitton Creative Director

Fun Fact:

Do you recognize this guy? Or even his name? Virgil Abloh is also the CEO and Founder of Off-White. The company was incorporated in Milan in 2012. The label has collaborated with Nike, Levi’s, Jimmy Choo, IKEA and Evian.

Louis Vuitton — Founder of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton was a suitcase maker who focused on the high-end, wealthier side of the market. Then it was in 1896 that Louis Vuitton introduced the famous LV monogram to his bags, the design that has become so famous today.

The original Louis Vuitton suitcases

Prada | 1913; Milan, Italy

Patrizio Bertelli — CEO of Prada

Fun Fact:

Bertelli’s wife, Miuccia Prada, is the head designer at the Prada fashionhouse. She is renowned for using minimalist designs to achieve a traditional style with modern influence.

Miuccia Prada — Head Designer

The leading Italian fashion designer, Miuccia Prada, has dressed countless women to the nines for several decades, and she’s best known as the Italian luxury fashion house’s head designer. She’s the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, who founded the label in 1913.

Raf Simons — Prada Head Creative Director (also repping the Adidas “Stan Smith” sneakers)
Mario Prada- Founder

Prada Marfa

In case you’re not familiar with what this Prada Marfa sign stands for, it’s based on a ‘mock’ Prada store located just a few miles outside a tiny town in the middle of the West Texas desert called Marfa.

It’s pretty much just a fake designer boutique in the middle of the West Texas desert. Pretty cool if you ask me, and don’t even mention the photo-op!

HEY, Beyoncé!

Saint Laurent | 1961; Paris, France

Francesca Bellettini — CEO of Saint Laurent
Anthony Vaccarello — Saint Laurent Creative Director
Yves Saint Laurent — Co-Founder, French fashion designer
Pierre Bergé — Co-Founder, French businessman

Yves Saint Laurent is the man, the myth, the legend that adapted tuxedos to fit women. As a teenager, he left Algeria for Paris to work for designer Christian Dior and gained applause for his dress designs. In 1966, he launched his own fashion labels.

One of my all-time favorite perfumes. Saint Laurent “Libra”.

Dior | 1946; Paris, France

Pietro Beccari — CEO of Dior
Maria Grazia Chiuri — Head Designer
Christian Dior — Founder, and quite arguably one of the most well-known fashion designers of all time

Christian Dior’s parents had hopes of him becoming a diplomat, but was artistically talented and began to sell his sketches on the street to make extra money.

Undoubtably my favorite perfume of all time. Christian Dior “Miss Dior — Eau De Parfum”

Versace | 1978; Milan, Italy

Gianni Versace — Founder

Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, an international fashion house that produces accessories, fragrances, make-up, home furnishings, and clothes. He also designed costumes for theatre and films.

His brother, Santo Versace, served as CEO, and his sister, Donatella Versace, was a designer and vice president.

Gianni Versace Assassination

“On July 15, 1997, Andrew Cunanan approached the famed Italian designer as he returned to his Miami Beach mansion after a morning trip to a nearby café. Cunanan opened fire at point-blank range, shooting Versace twice in the back of the head, according FBI records.” [Time Magazine]

Donatella Versace

Donatella Francesca Versace is an Italian fashion designer, businesswoman, socialite, and model. She is the sister of Gianni Versace, founder of the luxury fashion company Versace which she inherited a portion of after her brother’s death in 1997.

Gianni and Donatella Versace Met Gala appearances

The Villa Casa Casuarina At The Former Versace Mansion

Gianni Versace’s former South Beach, Miami mansion is now a popular tourist attraction where you can eat lunch or dinner (you can dine outdoors by that famous pool and pretend you’re staying in the hotel) or, to be able to see it all, you can stay the night at the Versace Mansion. Being a guest at the hotel allows you to see the hotel, take tours swim in the famous pool.

Chanel | 1910; Paris, France

Alain Wertheimer — CEO of Chanel

The company is currently owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel.

Virginie Viard (right) will be succeeding Karl Lagerfeld (left) as Creative Director.
You know her, you love her, Miss Coco Chanel — Founder

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and businesswoman. She was credited in the post-World War I era with popularizing a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style, replacing the “corseted silhouette” that was dominant beforehand.

The most iconic crossbody — Vintage Classic Double Flap Bag
Emma Roberts (aka Chanel Oberlin) from the show “Scream Queens”

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