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    

Black Gucci Guccissima Leather Purse ( 100% Authentic ) 100% Auth Gucci Guccissima Red Sukey Handle Hobo Bag Medium W/receipt Gucci Tan & Pink Gg Monogram Canvas & Leather "gg Twins" Medium Hobo BagGucci Tan, Pink & Gold Gg Monogram Canvas & Leather Web Strap Messenger BagGucci Black Leather Britt Hobo Bag Without Straps Genuine Gucci Soho Disco Red Leather Cross Body BagGucci Black Suede Leather Gg Monogram Drawstring Tote BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Satchel Speedy Purse HandbagAuthentic Gucci Red Leather HoboAuthentic Gucci Black Leather Moon HoboAuthentic Gucci Black Leather Heritage Hobo$1,150 Gucci Ladies "gg / Bamboo" Silk Top W/ Bag & TagGucci ~ Gorgeous Authentic Vintage Signature Tote Handbag Mi ItalyAuthentic Gucci Signature Large Tote With Matching WalletGenuine Gucci Brown Monogram & Green Leather Small Bouvier Jackie O Shoulder BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Gucci Soho Black Leather HandbagGucci Vintage Brown Leather Handbag Tote Shoulder Clutch Bag Rare!!!Authentic Gucci Large Chain Soho Shoulder Bag-pebbled BlackAuthentic Gucci Large Black Interlocking Shoulder Bag/carry On BagGucci Beige Leather & Gold Ring Handle Bucket Shoulder BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Satchel Speedy Purse HandbagGucci Bronze Sukey Large Shoulder Bag With WalletAuthentic Vintage Gucci Tote Shoulder Laptop Bag Shopper Purse HandbagAuthentic Gucci Brown Leather Tom Ford Shoulder Bag100% Genuine Gucci Perfume Compact Handbag Make Up Vanity Travel Mirror In Box Authentic Gucci Soho Medium Leather Black Shoulder Bag Gucci Hobo BagGucci Shoulder Handbag "sukey Tote" Gucci Vintage Italian Leather Accordian Shoulder Bag Made In Italy Purse /"Auth Vintage Gucci Doctors Bag Brown 80s Excellent No ReserveAuthentic Gucci HandbagGucci Guccissima Leather Frame Top Tote Bag In BrownAuthentic Vintage Gucci Cross Body Shoulder Bag Bucket Tote Handbag PurseAuthentic Gucci Brown Monogram Canvas Small Crossbody Messenger Shoulder BagGucci Soho Black Leather Hobo Shoulder Bag Size Large Genuine Gucci Soho Disco Off White Leather Cross Body Bag Authentic Gucci Vintage Signature Web Shoulder BagGreen Gucci Hobo BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Black Monogram & Leather Medium Tote Shoulder Bag PurseAuthentic Gucci Signature Brown Gg Monogram Canvas Vintage Clutch Bag Purse +boxAuthentic Vintage Gucci Lg Navy Leather "gg" Logo Drawstring Bucket Shoulder BagAuthentic Gucci Britt Black Leather Hobo Bag Purse & WalletGucci Vintage Shoulder Bag, Look!!!Authentic Gucci White Leather Canvas Wave Horsebit Hobo BagGucci Red Black Wool Felt Jackie Hobo Shoulder Handbag EvhbGucci Gg Logo Brown Canvas Tote Shopper BagGucci Soho Black Leather Hobo Shoulder Bag Size Large Gucci Large Hobo And WalletAuth Vintage Gucci Doctors Bag/kelly Brown 70s Very Good No ReserveGucci Jolicoeur Tote Made In Italy HandcraftedAuthentic 1970"s Vintage Gucci Boston BagAuth Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas, Leather Browns Drawstring Shoulder Bag Gs6555lAuthentic Rare 2006 Gucci Interlocking G Denim Fabric Abbey Shoulder BagAuthentic Gucci Signature Black Small ToteAuthentic Gucci Boston BagGucci Signature Canvas Boston BagAuthentic Used Gucci Gg Canvas Shoulder Bag 101341Authentic Gucci Vintage Black Signature Shoulder BagGucci Sukey Large Tote Bags Beige Light Camel