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 Gucci Beige Gg Canvas Ivory Leather North South Tote Bag Handbag PurseAuthentic Gucci Beige Gg Canvas North South Extra Large Horsebit Tote Bag PurseAuthentic Gucci Soho Bag Medium Black Leather NiceAuthentic Gucci Soho Disco Bag Black Leather With Dust Bag Authentic Vintage Gucci Web Duffel Duffle Travel Bag Suitcase Carry On LuggageAuthentic Gucci Red Green Stripe Gg Hobo Beige Fabric Handbag Shoulder Bag PurseHuge Vintage Gucci Monogram Tote Shopper Carryall Travel Overnight BagAuthentic Gucci Blue And Orange Canvas Boston BagRed Gucci Soho Leather Shoulder BagAuthentic Vintage Blue/white Gucci Plus Leather Drs Bag Satchel Speedy Purse BagAuth Vintage Gucci Doctors Bag Navy 70s Excellent No ReserveAuthentic Gucci Italy Purse Brown Leather & Gg Monogram Shoulder Bag Cross BodyGucci ToteGucci Britt Large Brown Boston Leather Satchel Shoulder Bag Gg.Gucci Tan Gg Monogram Canvas & Leather "gg Running" Medium Tote BagGucci 211943 Sukey Tote Bag Khaki Gg Monogram Canvas Shopper Purse $1160 Gvs596Auth. Xlarge Gucci Tote Shoppers Bag Purse Large Big Excellent Vintage 80sGucci Black Leather & Beige Suede Flap Gusset Shoulder BagAuthentic Gucci Soho Chain Strap ToteAuthentic Gucci Canvas Handbag Tote Shoulder Bag With Bow Genuine Gucci Italy Tote Purse Brown Leather Gg Monogram Boston Satchel Authentic Gucci Handbag Hardly Ever Used. 9x12 Base. Mint Condition!Gucci Soho Large Leather Tote With Chain StrapsGucci Gg Doctor Boston Navy Red Vintage Bag Anniversary Limited Edition Genuine Gucci Baby Shoulder Bag, Baby Carrier, Changing Pad And Bottle HolderGucci Tote BagAuthentic Gucci HandbagGucci Vintage Classic Genuine Leather Trim Speddy Bag HandbagBlack Gucci Leather Boston BagVintage Gucci Brown Signature Logo Leather Shoulder Bag Green/red Canvas StripeAuthentic Gucci Vintage Gg Pattern Pvc Canvas, Leather Browns Had Bag Gb3388lVintage Gucci Unused Red Pigskin Leather Convertible Satchel Crossbody MessengerAuth Vintage Gucci Tote Brown 80s Very Good No ReserveAuthentic Vintage Gucci Web Boston Doctor Bag Speedy Purse Handbag Gg LogoGucci Gg Canvas/leather Hobo Tote Bag Made In Italy 120888Authentic Gucci Signature Beige/ebony Brown Gg Canvas Medium Shopping Tote BagAuthentic Man Gucci Handbag Briefcase Real Leather Black With Dustbag EverythingGucci Black Signature Logo Monogram Handbag Purse Canvas & LeatherGucci Black Horsebit Medium Hobo BagGucci Brown Leather Trim Jacquard Organizational Clutch Wallet Medium BhfoAuth Large Gucci Tote Shoppers Bag Purse Vintage Genuine Vgc Big 80s MonogramGucci Gg Logo Canvas & Leather D Gold Hobo Handbag $695Rare Vintage 70s Gucci Monogram Boho Handbag Purse Tote Shopper Large Gg LogoAuthentic Vintage Web Gucci Cross Body Shoulder Bag Bucket Tote Handbag PurseGucci Size 11 Chelsea Boots W/ Box & Boot Bag. See Pics Retail $599.00$1,080 Gucci Ladies "gg" Horse Bit Black Tote Bag W/ TagGucci Crossbody HandbagGucci Vintage Deep Red Leather Handbag Shoulder Bag Rare!!!Gucci Monogram Canvas Tote Portfolio Vintage SetAuthentic Gucci Beige/burgundy Brown Gg Canvas Horsebit Studded Clutch Chain BagGucci Monogram Canvas Vintage Satchel Handbag Purse Wallet Keyholder LotAuthentic Gucci Fabric Large Carry On Duffle BagAuth Vintage Gucci Plus Doctors Bag Brown Very Good No ReserveVintage Gucci Purse Authentic 80's RareGucci Sukey Guccissima Leather Tote $1630Gucci Vintage *well Loved & Heavily Carried* Gg Canvas Satchel + Wallet Bag YsGucci Monogram Logo Lady's Large Purse Wallet Classic Beige 7Authentic Vintage Gucci Italy Brown Gg Monogram Handbag Doctors Bag PurseUsed Vintage Gucci Handbag Purse Authentic 2825 Italian ItalyGucci, Sukey, Black Leather, Guccissima Handbag