Gucci is an Italian luxury brand of fashion and leather goods. Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Tuscany, in 1921. Gucci generated about €4.2 billion in revenue worldwide in 2008 according to BusinessWeek and climbed to 41st position in the magazine's annual 2009 "Top Global 100 Brands" chart created by Interbrand. Gucci is the highest-selling Italian brand. Gucci operates about 278 directly operated stores worldwide as of September 2009, it wholesales its products through franchisees and upscale department stores. In the year 2013, the brand was valued with sales of US$4.7 billion. In the Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands list, Gucci is ranked the 38th most valuable brand, with a brand value of $12.4 billion as of May 2015. As of January 2015, the creative director is Alessandro Michele; as an immigrant hotel worker in Paris and London, young Guccio Gucci was impressed with the luxurious luggage he saw urbane guests bring with them at the Savoy Hotel. Before leaving, he visited the manufacturer, H.

J. Cave & Sons. Upon returning to his birthplace of Florence, a city distinguished for high-quality materials and skilled artisans, he established a shop in 1920 that sold fine leather goods with classic styling. Although Gucci organized his workrooms for industrial methods of production, he maintained traditional aspects of fabrication. Gucci employed skilled workers in basic Florentine leather crafts, attentive to finishing. With expansion, machine stitching was a production method. Together with three of his sons, Aldo Gucci, Vasco Gucci, Rodolfo Gucci, Gucci expanded the company to include stores in Milan and Rome as well as additional shops in Florence. Gucci's stores featured such finely crafted leather accessories as handbags and his iconic ornamented loafer as well as silks and knitwear in a signature pattern; the company made handbags of cotton canvas rather than leather during World War II as a result of material shortages. The canvas, was distinguished by a signature double-G symbol combined with prominent red and green bands.

After the war, the Gucci crest, which showed a shield and armored knight surrounded by a ribbon inscribed with the family name, became synonymous with the city of Florence. Aldo and Rodolfo Gucci further expanded the company's horizons in 1953 by establishing offices in New York City. Film stars and jet-set travelers to Italy during the 1950s and 1960s brought their glamour to Florence, turning Gucci's merchandise into international status symbols. Movie stars posed in Gucci's clothing and footwear for lifestyle magazines around the world, contributing to the company’s growing reputation. Gucci's distinctive lines made its products among the most copied in the world in the early 2000s. Pigskin and imported exotic animal skins were subjected to various methods of fabrication. Waterproof canvas and satin were used for evening bags. Bamboo was first used to make handbag handles by a process of heating and molding in 1947, purses made with a shoulder strap and snaffle-bit decoration were introduced in 1960.

In 1964 Gucci’s lush butterfly pattern was custom-created for silk foulards, followed by luxuriant floral patterns. The original Gucci loafer was updated by a distinctive snaffle-bit ornament in 1966, while the "Rolls-Royce" luggage set was introduced in 1970. Watches, jewelry and eyewear were added to the company's product lines. A iconic touch, introduced in 1964, was the use of the double-G logo for belt buckles and other accessory decorations; the company prospered through the 1970s, but the 1980s were marked by internal family disputes that brought Gucci to the brink of disaster. Rodolfo’s son Maurizio Gucci took over the company’s direction after his father’s death in 1983 and dismissed his uncle Aldo—who served a prison term for tax evasion. Maurizio proved to be an unsuccessful president. Maurizio disposed of his remaining stock in 1993. Maurizio was murdered by a hitman in Milan in 1995, his former wife, Patrizia Reggiani, was convicted of hiring his killer. Meanwhile, the new investors promoted the American-educated Domenico De Sole from the position of family attorney to president of Gucci America in 1994 and chief executive in 1995.

The company had brought in Dawn Mello in 1989 as editor and ready-to-wear designer in order to reestablish its reputation. Well aware of Gucci’s tarnished image and the value of its name brand, Mello hired Tom Ford in 1990 to design a ready-to-wear line, he was promoted to the position of creative director in 1994. Before Mello returned to her post as president of the American retailer Bergdorf Goodman, she initiated the return of Gucci’s headquarters from the business center of Milan to Florence, where its craft traditions were rooted. There she and Ford reduced the number of Gucci products from 20,000 to 5,000. Steinunn Sigurdardóttir was the Director and Senior Designer for Gucci from 1995 to 2000. There were seventy-six Gucci stores around the world in 1997, along with numerous licensing agreements. Ford was instrumental in the process of decision-making with De Sole when the Gucci Group acquired Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Bottega Veneta, Sergio Rossi, and, in part-ownership with Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.

By 2001 Ford and De Sole shared the responsibility for major business decisions, while Ford concurrently directed design at Yves Saint Laurent as well as at Gucci. The French conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, gained owners

Hop Brook Valley

The Hop Brook Valley is a valley in southeastern Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The valley lies predominantly in the town of Tyringham, although a good portion of it is located in the neighboring town of Lee; because of its rural location, scenic views, variety of hiking trails, it is considered as a destination for travellers of the region. The valley floor at an elevation of about 800 feet above sea level. With the mountains surrounding it rising to elevations between 1,000 and 2,000 feet in elevation. In the center of The Hop Brook Valley lies Hop Brook, a small stream that feeds into the Housatonic River where the Hop Brook Valley meets the Housatonic River Valley. Jerusalem Road traverses along the escarpment on the south side of the valley; some notable peaks rising above this side of the valley include side include Sky Hill, Beartown Mountain, Mount Wilcox. All of these mountains are part of the Beartown State Forest, which lies just to the south of the valley. To the north of the valley, lies the peak of Mount Baldy, as well as several other mountains in the area that form a plateau extending northward beyond the valley to Route 90.

On this plateau lies Goose Pond, the most elevated body of freshwater in the state. Below this plateau, Main Road, which turns into Tyringham Road when it enters the town of Tyringham, Massachusetts runs parallel to Jerusalem Road, but on the north side of the valley; the small and quaint downtown area of Tyringham, Massachusetts is situated where this road merges with Jerusalem Road at the southeast end of the valley. Just south of this intersection, in the center of the valley, lies the Tyringham Cobble one of the most notably shaped and prominent physical features of the area; the valley is a popular hiking destination because it is crossed by the Appalachian Trail

Pink Lake (Canada)

Pink Lake is a meromictic lake located in Gatineau Park, Canada. The surface of the waters are a deep green during the month of August and September due to the abundance of algae in the water; the lake is in danger of eutrophication due to human activities. Park management forbids swimming in the lake, walking domestic animals near it, straying from the wooden boardwalk for sight-seers, throwing stones into the lake. Pink Lake is named after a family of Irish settlers, it used to be a salt water lake as a part of the oceans. It took over 3000 years for the lake to turn from salt water to fresh water and as a result some of the salt water fishes adapted to fresh water. Due to the meromictic properties of Pink Lake there are ancient forms of bacteria which use sulfur instead of oxygen to perform photosynthesis; these bacteria form a layer about 7 metres from the bottom to avoid the oxygenated water and maximize sunlight exposure. Pink Lake has a desalinized variant of the three-spined stickleback fish.

In 2006, research was in progress to identify the patterns of atmospheric conditions over the past 10,000 years by examining the annual deposits of sediment in Pink Lake. Pink Lake plays a symbolic role in the novel Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand by Fred Vargas. Official NCC webpage Pink Lake, an Important Paleoclimatic Record Pink Lake in Gatineau Park's photo gallery Pink Lake on Photobase