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    

Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Duffel Duffle Travel Bag Suitcase Carry On LuggageAuthentic Gucci Soho Hobo Bag Medium Black HandbagAuth. Gucci Blondie Leather Hand Bag Purse Gg Emblem Tom Ford Excellent GorgeousGucci Soho Black Large Leather Shoulder BagAuthentic Gently Used Gucci Cream Pelham Hobo Handbag Purse Tote Authentic Gucci Blue Gg Plus Navy Leather Carryall Shopper Tote Bag Italy Auth Gucci Red Monogram Canvas Black Leather Shoulder Handbag Gucci Authentic Soho Fango Color Leather Messenger Bag $1375no Reserve Gucci Black Gg Monogram Nylon & Leather Medium Joy Tote BagGucci Gg Plus Monogram Web Medium Joy Boston HandbagGucci Brown Gg Monogram Canvas & Leather Piston Lock Bardot Shoulder BagAuth Gucci Monogram Large Gg Logo Canvas Jockey Hobo Ebony Bag PurseGucci Black Gg Monogram Nylon & Leather Tote BagAuthentic Gucci Black Gg Guccissima Leather Ladies Web Large Hobo BagGenuine Gucci Soho Disco Black Leather Cross Body Bag Gucci Italy Tan Leather Vintage Designer Laptop Computer Case Briefcase BagAuth Vintage Gucci Large Doctors Bag Brown With Strap Excellent No ReserveGucci Vintage Beige Leather Gusset Flap Shoulder BagAuth. Gucci Blondie Wallet Clutch Bag Purse Gg Logo Leather Black Vgc Clean Genuine Gucci Italy Tote Purse Brown Leather Gg Monogram Boston Satchel Gucci Purse Vintage Monogram Shoulder Bag Brown (read Description)Authentic Vintage Gucci Bamboo Hobo Shoulder Bag Handbag Purse Tote LeatherVintage Black Leather Gucci BagAuthentic Gucci Disco Soho Crossbody Bag Black LeatherAuth. Gucci Bag Purse Clutch Vintage 70s Rare Original Antique VgcGucci Soho Disco Authentic Crossbody Black Leather Messanger Bag Gucci Soho Boston Bag - Black, Leather, Designer, Medium Size. L 13.4", H 8.3", Auth. Large Gucci Vintage Doctors Bag Purse Gg Mono 80s Big Excellent GorgeousAuthentic Gucci 'abbey' Hobo Handbag ***nr***Gucci PurseRare Authentic 1960's Gucci Vintage Bamboo Handle Black Leather HandbagGucci Brown Signature Print Vintage Crossbody Handbag Gucci Soho Disco Bag/crossbodyWomens Gucci Bag Emily Guccissima Leather Chain Shoulder Bag!Auth Vintage Gucci Clutch Brown 80s Accessory Collection Very Good No ReserveGucci Messenger Laptop Bag - Black Gg Logo - Used Once - Unisex GorgeousAuthentic Gucci Large Horsebit Hobo Bag Beautiful Gucci Xx Lg Bone Ivory Leather Horsebit Hobo Boston Handbag Made ItalyAuthentic Black Monogram Gucci BagAuthentic Gucci Soho Hobo Bag Shoulder Bag Ivoryy Off White NiceVtg. Gucci Clutch Handbag W/coverAuthentic Gucci Black Gg Guccissima Leather Ladies Web Large Hobo BagAuth Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas, Leather Browns Drawstring Shoulder Bag Gs5822lCollector's Scoooooore!***gucci Flora Floral Beige Gold Hw Tom Ford Era Hobo BagGucci Tan Guccisima Monogram Suede Shearling Jolicoeur Tote Bag Handbag ShopperAuthentic Gucci Brown Handbag Authentic Gucci Small Hobo Style HandbagVintage Gucci Handbag Purse Shoulder Doctor Bag Guc100% Genuine Gucci Brown Make Up Travel Bag Vanity Case Jewellery Pouch ClutchWomen's Vintage Gucci Boston Bag Style Black Leather And Canvas Purse Authentic Gucci: Khaki, Monogram "gg", Satchel/boston Bag W/ Leather $995Authentic Gucci Messenger BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Black Leather Medium Duffle Drawstring Hobo Shoulder BagGucci Boston BagAuthentic Gucci Hand Bag Made In Italy Reds Canvas 12358100% Authentic Classic Gucci Hobo Moon Shaped TyleAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Shoulder Bag Speedy Blue Handbag-70'sAuthentic Gucci Gg Handbag Bag Pouch Clutch Evening Bag Black CanvasGucci 152615 Bmj1v 6523 Red Leather And Gold Heart-shaped Coin Purse 4%49190 Gucci Brown Beige Lizard Silver Tone Hardware Pleated Clutch Handbag Evhb