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 Soho Disco Bag Gucci Pebbled Calfskin Small Soho Disco Bag Pink Shoulder Bag 123365Gucci Soho Disco Crossbody Leather Handbag Receipt Turquoise Blue Euc $980 Auth Gucci Metallic Pink Soho Leather 10.62" Tassel Chain Shoulder Bag Ghw Wo737100% Authentic Gucci Soho Disco Cross Body Bag W Receipt No ReserveAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Simple Elegant Vintage Gucci Black Leather Handbag %100 AuthenticGucci Black Leather Medium Shoulder Bag Gucci Imprime Monogram Continental G Chain Clutch Wallet Black 111404Guaranteed Authentic Vintage Gucci Sling Backpack Shoulder Bag Purse Handbag Gucci Guccissima Medium Icon Bit Tote Off White Shoulder Bag Gg 98617 Gucci Bright Diamante Small Bucket Bag Fuchsia 108487Gucci 272374 Women Black Shoulder Bag Retail:$1328Authentic Vintage Gucci Plus Web Tote Laptop Shoulder Bag Shopper Purse Handbag Authentic Gucci Soho Leather Chain Flop Cross Body Bag BlackAuthentic Vintage Gucci Mini Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Gucci Tom Ford Black Patent Leather Sigrid Clutch Gucci Calfskin Studded Large Irina Tote White Shoulder Bag Purse 104882Authentic Gucci Grape/purple Soho Cellarius 282309 Leather Tote Bag W/ Dust Bag Gucci Canvas Leather Flora Floral Handbag, White Floral Bucket Drawstring Bag$1690 Gucci Tian Embroidered Padlock Shoulder Bag Current SeasonGucci Soho Black Leather Shoulder Bag Large AuthenticEuc Gucci Red Leather Soho Tote BagAuthentic Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag BlackPre-owned Gucci Men's Classic Brown Guccissima Leather Messenger Bag ItalyAuthentic Vintage Gucci Cross Body Shoulder Bag Shopper Purse Handbag Tote RedAuthentic Gucci Web Doctor Boston Bag Speedy Handbag PurseAuthentic Gucci Bag Tote Handbag Canvas Cruise Collection Gucci Gg Plus Monogram Medium Joy Shoulder Bag Dark Brown 118516Authentic Gucci Black Leather HandbagAuthentic Gucci Black Leather Shoulder BagAuthentic Gucci Gold Hysteria Top Handle Handbag BagGenuine Gucci Leather Cross Body Bag In PinkGucci Crossbody BagAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Doctor Boston Bag Speedy Purse Satchel Handbag Tote Gucci Patent Babouska Medium Boston Gold Metalic Handbag Purse 106670Gucci Kelly Bag With Bamboo HandleVintage Gucci Navy Signature Stripe Monogram Satchel Cross Body Purse Bag Italy Gucci Monogram Web Tote Pink Gold Handbag Shoulder Purse 121515 Gucci Velour Horsebit Embossed Small Mini Glam Hobo 94982Authentic Gucci Hand Bag Black Nylon 121184Authentic Vintage Gucci Reins Britt Blondie Hobo Shoulder Bag Handbag Purse Gucci Handbag Hobo Purse Jockey Light/pale Blue Guccissima Leather BeautifulAuthentic Gucci Soho Bag Large Handbag Black LeatherAuthentic Gucci Signature Gg Canvas Leather Tote Hand Bag W/ CharmsAuthentic Vintage Gucci Shoulder Bag Browns Canvas 101749**authentic Gucci Guccissima Large Brown Shoulder Bag/tote In Nice Condition****Guaranteed Authentic Vintage Gucci Waist Belt Bag Cross Body Purse UnisexGucci Tote Gucci Monogram Large D Ring Hobo Black Gg Web Brown Shoulder Bag 119697Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Purse Handbag Tote Gg LogoAuthentic Vintage Gucci Boston Doctor Shoulder Bag Speedy Satchel Purse Handbag Authentic Gucci Handbag Bag Purse Bag 99c No Reserve Must See Limited Edition Gucci Stirrup Handbag Medium Red - No ReserveAuthentic Gucci Bag Vintage Gucci Red Leather Crossbody Shoulder BagVintage Gucci Small Beige Signature Monogram Satchel Cross Body Purse Bag ItalyVintage Gucci Positano Scarf Tote Bag Beige Brown Canvas And LeatherAuthentic Gucci Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas Leather Navy Blue Tote Bag Gt0581Gucci Boston Handbag