Artisan Guccio Gucci founded his House of Gucci in 1921 to sell utilitarian leather goods such as high-end riding gear and luggage to aristocrats in Florence, Italy. As their fine leather handbags became more and more sought-after by wealthy clientele, the company never forget its equestrian-oriented roots, including horse-bit inspired closures on the purses.

With the help of his sons, Aldo, Vasco, Ugo, and Rodolfo, Gucci expanded his company to Rome and Milan. During World War II, a leather shortage prompted the company to experiment with other handbag material, such as hemp, linen, and jute. In 1947, an Gucci artisan created the iconic bamboo bag, shaped like a saddle with a handle of burnished bamboo cane.

In 1953, Aldo and Rodolfo expanded the company to New York City, and at the same time, wealthy jet-setters and film stars were traveling to the company's headquarters in Florence, giving the brand a status of international glamour. First Lady Jackie Kennedy flaunted a Gucci shoulder bag, now known as the Jackie O. The unstructured, unisex hobo bag was carried by Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Sellers, and Samuel Beckett.

In terms of icons, the riding theme continued into the 1950s with Gucci's green and red web stripe, taken from a saddle girth. In the '60s, Gucci introduced its interlocking double G logo.

During the '70s, Gucci rose in importance as the branded handbag became a status symbol. At the same time, the company was shifting its manufacturing to overseas factories, which diminished the handcrafted quality of its bags while also making them vulnerable to believable knockoffs.

Nonetheless, First Lady Nancy Reagan favored Gucci purses, which sold for upwards of $600, as the logos telegraphed wealth and importance in a decade where decadence was embraced.

Then, in 1994, Tom Ford joined Gucci, altering the bamboo handles and the horse-bit closures, attaching them to python, fur, and metallic leather purses. In 1999, the Gucci brand was absorbed into a large conglomerate of luxury goods, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Bag Lady University

Bag Lady University

Bag Lady University is the place to learn about handbag makers from Adrian's, which made Bakelite bags, to Whiting … [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag Chain Strap Leather MediumAuth Gucci Marmont Black Leather Chain Shoulder Bag Pouch Purse Unused /521Gucci Gg Monogram Messenger Crossbody Bag In Brown Shoulder Bag 151268Authentic Gucci Hand Bag Soho 282309 Pinks Leather 66542Gucci Soho Disco Crossbody Bag Golden BeigeAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Beiges Pvc 105680Auth. Vintage Gucci Gg Monogram Bag Purse 70s-80s Retired Collectors VgcAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Beiges Canvas 105681Gucci Soho HandbagR55748 Auth Gucci Crash Denim Soho Tassel Chain Shopper Tote Shoulder Bag GhwAuth. Vintage Gucci Tote Shoppers Bag W/ Clutch Purse 80s Retired Pre-ownedAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns Canvas 21777Gucci Authentic Pelham Hobo Handbag With Dust Cover EucLarge Brown Gucci Sukey Tote In Brown Guccissima LeatherGucci Vintage Monogram Boston BagGucci Gg Supreme Vintage Web Boston Hand Bag Brown Pvc Leather Authentic #7145 MGucci Bronze Crossbody / Shoulder BagGucci Bamboo Handbag AuthenticGucci Blooms Padlock Small Bag.Vintage Gucci Signature Satchel Cross Body Purse Bag ItalyAuth. Vintage Gucci Tote Shopper Bag Gg Monogram Big Large 15 X 15 X 3 InchesElegant Auth Gucci Gg Large Bucket Bag W/braided Leather Handles Made In ItalyAuthentic Vintage Gucci Ladies' Guccissima Continental Clutch Checkbook WalletAuthentic Gucci Shoulder Bag Browns Nylon 21776Preowned Gucci Women’s Gucci Original Gg Shoulder Bag Bee StyleGucci Vintage Burgundy Suede & Tan Braided Leather ToteGucci Gg Supreme Shoulder Bag Navy Brown Set Pvc Italy Vintage Auth #7020 6990 WGucci Soho Leather Disco BagGucci Dionysus Bamboo Leather Striped Limited- Sold Out Shoulder Bag No Reserve!Gucci Gg Guccissima Logo Crossbody Brown Ebone Canvas Leather Duffle Bag Rt$1850Vintage Gucci Purse Signature Gg Stripe Shoulder Handbag Navy Blue CrossbodyGucci Canvas Tote Shopper Handbag Patent Trim 9.5 X 5.5 X 10 Pre OwnedGucci Black Gray Signature Canvas Waist BagAuthentic Gucci Shoulder Bag Browns Canvas 21769Gucci Vintage Beige Monogram Canvas & Leather Belt BagGenuine Gucci Italy Boston Purse Brown Leather & Gg Monogram Tote SatchelGucci Horsebit Bamboo Monogram Leather Satchel Handbag Authentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns Pvc 144188Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Waist Belt Bag Fannypack Clutch Purse HandbagGucci Guccissima Sukey Off White Leather Bag Handbag $1695Gucci Guccissima Gg Twins Hobo Black Medium Handbag (2568-1fj)Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Boot Bag Tote Handbag PurseAuth. Vintage Gucci Gg Monogram Doctors Bag Purse 80's Vgc Collectors ItemGucci Gg Monogram Messenger Crossbody Bag In Brown 151083Vintage Gucci Brown Signature Coated Canvas Leather Trim Tote Shopper Bag PurseGucci Brown & Beige Logo Horsebit Hobo Purse BagAuth Gucci Gg Pattern Travel Boston Hand Bag Brown Pvc Canvas 6k080170mGucci Horsebit Handbag - Black Leather Gold Hardware - Large SizeGucci Authentic Tan Ostrich Bamboo Top Handle BagAuthentic Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas Leather Browns Cross-body Shoulder Bag Authentic Gucci HandbagGucci Hose Bit Gg Brown Velvet Leather 85th Anniversary Shoulder Bag /530Authentic Vintage Gucci Canvas Tan / Brown Tote BagAuth Gucci Gg Pattern Canvas Brown Shoulder Tote Shopping Bag Vintage 6k120350mAuth. Vintage Gucci Gg Monigram Duffle BagGenuine Gucci Italy Shoulder Purse Brown Leather & Gg Monogram StripedGucci Italy Swing Leather Wallet Shoulder Bag Crossbody Clutch Black Classic Authentic Gucci Soho Large Shoulder Bag Tote Fringed Off White LeatherAuthentic Vintage Gucci Doctor Bag Satchel Speedy Purse Handbag ToteAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Duffel Travel Gym Bag Suitcase Carry On Luggage