From a humble luggage porter to a luxury icon! What role did the world’s first electric elevator play in Guccio Gucci’s rise to luxury brand royalty?


No matter where you go, remember where you came from.’ With this thought in mind, we delved into a fascinating tale of drudgery, growth, and glory. It is about a man named Guccio Gucci, who today is recognized as the founder of the Gucci fashion brand, but back in the day, this Florence-born teenager lived a modest life in an extravagant place.

Not just London, The Savoy hotel was one of the greatest hotels in the world.

His workplace in 1889 was the opulent London Savoy Hotel, a place where class, sophistication, and wealth hobnobbed together. Gucci, all of 18, worked in this oasis of extravagance as a luggage porter and was in charge of the world’s first electric elevator.


It was called the ascending room, for lack of a better word, painted in a glitzy red to match the grandeur of the guests taking painstakingly long six-minute rides to reach their rooms on the fifth floor. A marvel for the time, guests coming from the richest backgrounds, palaces, and more didn’t mind the ride, and Guccio Gucci certainly did not.

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The first Gucci store opening in Rome. Via Facebook / @Live For Class

It was his haven of inspiration, uninterrupted and magnified for observation of the most powerful individuals of the time. The luggage porter, with a natural charm, engaged in conversations with the illustrious company, observed the poshness of the affluent people with a proximity afforded by only a partner, not a porter, and made exhaustive notes on every little detail.

A Gucci luggage store in Paris.

From their demeanor to their personal styles, their timepieces, jewelry, and even the luggage they strutted around with, nothing escaped the eye of the man who would one day become the founder of one of the most prestigious brands in the fashion and luxury goods industry. The journey from there wasn’t easy; he was a mere lobby porter, after all, but a resolute one at that. What followed was two decades of sheer hard work, perseverance, and saving capital.

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The Gucci atelier, opened by Guccio Gucci in Florence.

At 40 years of age, Gucci opened a luggage shop in Florence that offered a top-quality line of luggage that would please the people he met in the world’s first electric elevator at the Savoy Hotel. The House of Gucci in Florence, established in 1921 as a small saddlery shop, offered products like finely crafted leather luggage, handbags, and the famous bamboo-handled handbag that is still popular today. If there ever was a human being who made the most of being at the right place at the time, it was indeed Guccio Gucci.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.