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 White Woven Raffia & Guccissima Leather Large Sukey BagAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns 86083Gucci Brown Signature Gg Pattern Leather Strap Shoulder Bag ToteAmazing Large Orange Leather Gucci Bag - Hardly Ever Used!!Gucci Monogram Gg Large Princy Boston Brown Purse Bag Handbag 81045Gucci Brown Monogram Canvas & Web Stripe BagGuaranteed Authentic Vintage Gucci Waist Belt Cross Body Bag Fanny Pack PurseAuthentic Gucci Soho Hobo Large Red Leather Shoulder BagGucci Navy Blue Leather Signature Gg Pattern Red Stripe Line Messenger BagAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Black 86953Authentic Vintage Gucci Tote Shopper Shoulder Bag Handbag Purse Red Gg LogoAuthentic Gucci Soho Disco Cross Body Bag Black LeatherAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Light Brown 87017Authentic Gucci Hand Bag 84786Gucci Accessory Collection Blue Gg Handbag / Eyeglasses Case / Wallet / Pen Set100% Authentic Red Gucci Web Boston Doctor's Pvc Canvas/leather Hand Bag -lovelyAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Doctor Boston Bag Satchel Speedy Purse HandbagGucci Microguccissima Leather Boston BagGucci Brown Leather Medium Shoulder Bag With Gold AccentsGucci Suede Medium Race Top Handle Tote Black Purse Bag Handbag 85202Authentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns 86081Vintage Gucci HandbagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Tote Bag Clutch Shopper Purse HandbagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Combination Lock Leather BriefcaseHuge Genuine Vtg Designer Leather Purse Bag Lot Gucci Prada Bally Ferragamo EtcAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Gold 86950Authentic Vintage Gucci Black Leather Web Tote Bag Shopper Purse Handbag Gucci Disco Soho Crossbody Bag Studded Leather Burgundy ColorGucci Dialux Pop Bamboo Large Top Handle Tote Black 73417Gucci Diaper Bag And Bottle HolderAuthentic Gucci Boston Handbag With Dust BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Gucci Diaper BagAuthentic Gucci Hand Bag Sukey Browns 86947Authentic Gucci Tote Bag Gold 87015100% Authentic Gucci Tote! Gucci Monogram Large D Gold Ring Hobo Purse Handbag 95499Authentic Gucci Boston BagGenuine Gucci Brown Monogram Canvas & Leather Crossbody Messenger Shoulder BagRare!! Gucci Light Pink Leather Gg Guccissima Boston PurseGucci Brown Leather Tassel Accent Handbag Shoulder Bag Tote PurseAuthentic Gucci Italy Techno Horsebit Large Shoulder Flap Leather Purse BagOld Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Webbing Boston Hand Bag Beige W/ Shoulder Strap / 8a203Authentic Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas, Leather Navy Blue Boston Bag Gb9926lAuth Vintage Gucci Red Leather Bamboo Backpack Drawstring Bag Ghw R0756Authentic Vintage Gucci Tote Bag Browns 82432Gucci Signature Gg Wristlet Bag *w/box* / Rrp: £280.00Authentic Gucci Brown Gg Monogram Canvas & Leather Medium Tote Shoulder HandbagGenuine Gucci Black Monogram Canvas & Leather Small Crossbody Shoulder Hobo BagGucci Canvas Carry On Duffle Bag And Canvas Garment BagAuthentic Gucci Belt Bag / Fanny Pack In Perfect Condition!!Authentic Vintage Gucci Doctor Boston Shoulder Bag Satchel Speedy Purse HandbagGucci Ostrich Purse VintageAuthentic Gucci Flora Hasler Horsebit Flap Clutch Hobo Purse Great ConditionGucci Black Leather Canvas Signature G Stripe Pattern Cross Body PurseAuthentic Gucci Shoulder Bag Whites 87485Large Gucci Crystal Joy Brown Gg Monogram Leather Tote BagLarge Vintage Black Gucci Boston Doctor Hand Bag 02-39-4330 With Bag!!!Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Authentic Vintage Gucci White Leather And Woven Black Fabric Lined Handbag Purse