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 Vintage Brown Monogram Boston BagAuthentic! Gucci Soho Suede Chain Shoulder Bag 2015 (comes With Receipt)Gucci Khaki Jacquard Signature Gg Shoulder Tote Purse Bag Italy $1160 Iga153Authentic Gucci Soho Bag Large Black Leather NiceGenuine Rare Vintage Gucci Beige Canvas & Brown Leather Small Hobo Handbag PurseAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Gucci Beige Gg Canvas Ladies Womens Hobo Bag Handbag Purse Authentic No ReserveGucci Vintage Brown Monogram Boston BagAuthentic Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag Large Red Leather HandbagGucci White Pebbled Leather & Gold Horsebit Shoulder BagAuthentic Gucci Soho Red Leather Medium Handbag With ReceiptVintage Gucci Train Case, Handbag, Luggage - Monogram Gg - Canvas & Leather AuthGenuine Gucci Brown Monogram Canvas & Leather Crossbody Messenger Shoulder BagGucci Vintage Brown Monogram Coated Canvas ToteAuthentic Vintage Gucci Birkin Style Satchel Tote Bag Handbag Purse LeatherGucci Large Horsebit Hobo Bag. Never Used. Beautiful Bag.Authentic Gucci Disco Bag Crossbody Messenger Black 308364 Great Shape Small SzAuth Vintage Gucci Clutch Navy 80s Excellent No ReserveAuthentic Gucci Mini Backpack Bamboo Brown Suede Leather Tote Bag 49 Gucci Monogram Heart Continental Wallet Coin Purse Clutch 82162Gucci Pack Bag Gucci Soho BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse HandbagGucci Vtg Italy Boston Speedy Monogram Satchel & Shoulder Bag + Wallet-0.99nrGucci Soho Disco Crossbody BagGucci Pink Canvas Monogram & White Leather HandbagAuth Vintage Gucci Doctors Bag Navy Large & Strap 80s Excellent No ReserveGucci HandbagGucci Gg Twins Large Hobo Handbag - Authentic - Perfect ConditionAuth Vintage Gucci Plus Tote Brown Excellent No ReserveAuthentic Gucci Gg Canvas Hand Bag With Pouch Black Italy 12550aGuaranteed Authentic Vintage Gucci Metallic Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack PurseVintage Gucci Wallet Italy Signature Gg Beige-tan 7.5" Change Purse Leather Pvc Authentic Gucci Canvas Leather Pink Brown Tote Shoulder Bag 36Auth Vintage Gucci Tan Brown Monogram Canvas Leather SatchelGenuine Rare Gucci Brown Monogram Canvas Medium Crossbody Messenger Shoulder BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Britt Blondie Gg Medallion Shoulder Bag Handbag PurseGenuine Gucci Black Monogram Canvas & Leather Crossbody Messenger Shoulder BagGucci Crystal Canvas Guccissima ToteAuthentic Gucci Gg Sherry Line Canvas Leather Brown Hand Tote Bag 50Gucci Blk Coat Canvas Men Shoulder Travel Messenger Luggage Bag Italy $950 Id475Guaranteed Authentic Vintage Gucci Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack PurseAuthentic Gucci Gg Pattern Shoulder Bag Navy Leather Pvc Vintage 5d070192#Authentic Gucci Soho Disco Cross-body Purse In Sold-out Taupe, Perfect!Gucci Dialux Pop Bamboo Large Top Handle Tote Black 73417Gucci Hobo Bag W/ Handles, Crossbody Strap, 11.5 Inches X 16 Inches, Cloth, Tan Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Jackie O Hobo Shoulder Bag Handbag Purse LeatherGucci Gg 129500 Limited Edition Horse Bit Womens Handbag Preowned Monogram Purse$1 Nr Gucci 189752 Cross Body Messenger Bag Canvas & Leather100% Authentic Gucci Gg Women Medium Handbag Canvas Beige / Leather Brown Bag Authentic Gucci Shoulder Bag Browns 82781Gucci Horsebit HoboAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Cosmetic Clutch Purse Bag Handbag Parfum SoapAuthentic Gucci Brown Monogram Suede Small Boston Bowling Tote Shoulder HandbagAuth Vintage Gucci Plus Doctors Bag Navy Excellent No ReserveAuthentic Rare Vintage Gucci Brown Monogram Unisex Waist Hip Belt Bum Fanny BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse HandbagAuth Vtg Gucci Gg Leather Pvc Hand Bag Clutch Blue Italy 1265bAuthentic Gucci Tote & WalletGucci Monogram Canvas Waist Bag Waist Bag Pack Pouch No 8833313