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 Brown Monogram Leather Crossbody BagGucci Black Leather & Silver Chain Strap Clutch$1650 Gucci Britt Blondie Brown Leather Tote Hobo Handbag Big Gg Logo MessengerGucci Black Patent Leather Bamboo Turnlock ClutchAuth Gucci Italy Guccissima Bronze Brown Leather Large Tote Shopper Purse PurseGucci Micro Guccissima Bag Charm Clip Key Chain Ring Nib Authentic!Authentic Vintage Gucci Duffel Gym Travel Bag Suitcase Carry On Luggage ToteAuthentic Gucci Soho Black Leather Large Shoulder Bag Authentic Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag Large Red Leather Gucci Leather Horsebit Chain Clutch Green Handbag Bag Purse 90876Gucci BagAuthentic Gucci Italy Monogram Gg Shoulder Bag Purse Striped HoboGucci Black Canvas Signature G Pattern Leather Trim Shoulder Bag ToteGucci Vintage Brown Monogram Canvas & Braided Leather Convertible BagGucci Winter Leaf Brown Leather & Raccoon Fur Smilla Small Shoulder BagGucci Vintage Brown Monogram Coated Canvas & Leather Crossbody BagGucci Soho Leather Shoulder BagAuthentic Gucci Hand Bag Browns 91096Gucci Soho Leather HandbagGuaranteed Authentic Vintage Gucci Waist Belt Bag Fanny Pack PurseVintage Gucci Signature Large Satchel Doctor Tote Brown & Tan Purse Bag ItalyAuthentic Gucci Soho Hobo Bag Red Leather Shoulder Bag Large SizeAuthentic Gucci Hand Bag Sukey 2way Pinks 87372Gucci Monogram Medium Jolicoeur Tote Bag Purse Handbag 66311Authentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns 917712,800!! Gucci Limited Ed Blondie Gold Soho Authentic Leather Shoulder Purse Bag Gucci Pochette Gg Monogram Brown Bag Handbag Purse 102557Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Ladies Bi-fold Continental Clutch Checkbook WalletAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns 91344Genuine Rare Gucci Brown Monogram & Signature Strap Waist Hip Belt Bum Fanny BagGucci Brown Embossed Monogram Leather Gold Horsebit Convertible BagVintage Authentic Classic Gucci Brown Monogram Hobo Handbag D Ring 189833 MintAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Cross Body Bucket Shoulder Bag Purse Handbag ToteAuthentic Gucci Khaki Canvas & Black Leather Small Bouvier Jackie Shoulder BagItaly Gucci 47 Shoulder Bag Purse Black Brown Tan LogoGucci Sukey #211944 Guccissima Dark Brown Leather Medium Tote/hand Bag Auth EucAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns 91770$1140. Genuine Gucci Italy Shoulder Purse Pink Gg Monogram Striped Tote ShopperAuthentic Gucci Shoulder Bag Light Brown 89622Authentic Gucci Hand Bag Browns 91745Gucci Large Tote/shopper HandbagNo Reserve! Gucci Abbey Abby Crystal Guccissima Supreme Gg Pocket Monogram ToteAuthentic Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas, Leather Browns Boston Bag Gb10551lAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Shoulder Bag Speedy Purse Handbag Authentic Gucci Brown Gg Canvas & Leather Crossbody Messenger Shoulder Bag PurseGucci Gg Monogram Red Canvas & Leather Crossbody Messenger BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Clutch Browns 90706Gucci Soho Disco Bag Fuchsia Patent LeatherGucci Soft Stirrup #296855 Brown Leather Large Tote/shouder Bag Auth VgucGucci Britt Chocolate Brown Handbag Excellent ConditionAuthentic Gucci Hand Bag Light Brown 91704Gucci Baby Diaper BagVintage Authentic Classic Gucci Black Monogram Hobo Handbag D Ring 189833 Mint100% Authentic Gucci Bamboo Handle Black Leather Tote Hand Bag / N228Authentic Gucci Black Monogram Canvas & Leather Crossbody Messenger Shoulder BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Doctor Boston Shoulder Bag Speedy Purse HandbagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Shopper Tote Huge Gg Medallion Vintage WebVintage Gucci Gg Logo Brown Canvas Baguette Long Hobo Duffel Bag Purse,excellentAuthentic Gucci Tote Bag Browns 91705Gucci Bamboo Black Cosmetic Makeup Hand Bag Pouch Women Signature Velvet Clutch