When Guccio Gucci founded his leather-goods company in Florence, Italy in 1922, his modest goal was to produce upscale luggage for an affluent clientele. Today, Gucci is known as much for the dresses, shoes, boots, and hats packed in those Gucci bags as the bags themselves.

Like all design firms, Gucci had to improvise during World War II, when materials such as leather were in short supply. Gucci began to make his luggage out of canvas, and used cheap and plentiful bamboo on the handles of his handbags. For some designers, these improvisations would have been considered compromises, but for Gucci, they became trademarks.

After the war, Gucci’s star was on the rise. During the 1950s, Gucci introduced its green-red-green stripe, which was reportedly taken from the girth, or cinch, that secures a saddle to a horse. By the 1960s, the word Gucci was synonymous with “men’s loafer”; Grace Kelly wore Gucci’s multicolored Flora scarf everywhere; and a Gucci bag was seen so frequently on Jacqueline Onassis’s shoulder that it was often called the Jackie O. Accessories from sunglasses to purses were soon covered with the firm’s new double-G logo. Counterfeiters saw double-dollar signs, knocking off countless Gucci products because there was just so much of it in the marketplace.

By 1972 the brand was beginning a death spiral of ubiquity. Even the lowly AMC Hornet, a no-frills economy car, had a Gucci interior. By the 1980s, with Gucci family members in open warfare with each other, a former Bergdorf Goodman executive named Dawn Mello finally took the company’s reins in a last-ditch attempt to salvage the brand. Her most important decision was to hire designer, and now film director, Tom Ford as Gucci’s new creative director.

More than anyone, it was Ford who made Gucci hot again. The company continued to make loafers (no need to kill that cash cow), but it also offered knee-high boots in alligator with tiny little heels in the back, a counter-intuitive reversal of the standard practice of finishing similarly styled boots with high stilettos.

Ford gave Gucci looks that Guccio could not have imagined—backless evening dresses in burgundy velvet; lace-up jersey tunics in jet black; baseball and ski caps that are walking billboards for the now-iconic double-G; and lipstick-red bikinis and other revealing examples of swimwear.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

The VFG is a non-profit international educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vinta… [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Gucci Olive Green Wool Tweed Short Sleeve Sheath Dress Size 40Gucci Black White Yellow Seahorse Print Lined Stretch Wrap Dress Gucci New Black Linen Blend Long Sleeves V-neck Sweater Xl BhfoGucci Pants Sz 40New Auth Gucci Black Gold Chain Belted Silk Cocktail Dress Xs / Us 0 - 2 / It 38Gucci 2pc Black Knit Sleeveless Wrap Top & Ruched Skirt Set Size 44Gucci Chinchilla Fur With Leather Patchwork Coat Jacket ItalyGucci Long Sleeved V-neck Shirt With BeltGucci Denim Top And Bottom Size 38 40 Jacket Skirt Women'sGucci Firenze Made In Italy Cotton Similar Denim Fabric Cm 200x140Gucci Midnight Blue Ivory Cream Striped Wool-silk Knit Cardigan Sweater Size MGucci Basic Essential Black Spaghetti-strap Velour Textured Lbd Sundress Size 42Gucci Leather And Silk Halter Top Blouse Worn Once Italian 42 Us 6-8Gucci Crystal Sheer Lace Bra Top Corset Bralette Small Black Shirt Vs Very SexyGucci Vintage Kimono, Tall Black Gucci Top W Gold Buckle Size MGucci Black Scoop Neck Cut-out Long Sleeve Top Size 38Classic Womens Gucci T-shirt LargeGucci Champagne Ivory Gold Trimmed Silk Cable Knit Polo Collared Sweater Size 44Rare Gorgeous Vintage Gucci Leather Camel Brown Gg Classic Wrap Kilt Skirt Amazing! Gucci Black Lace Up Top Blouse Size Medium$400 Gucci Authentic Black Striped Tank Top! Size MediumGucci Vintage Skirt Tom Ford Era 2005 Size 42 Olive Green Italy Knee LengthGucci Black Wool Straight Leg Raw Hem Trousers Size 42Gucci Black Textured Sheer Button Up Shirt Size 40Sharp! Genuine **gucci** Black Wool Dress Pants! 38/4Gucci HalterEuc Gucci Sheath Dress, Keyhole V Front W Silver Metal Top, Sleeveless, Size 6 Womens Authentic Gucci Tops Black And White Small SLove Culture Faux Leather Hot Pants, Mini Shorts, Light Brown, Sz M, GucGucci Blouse Top Worn Once 100% Silk With Real LeatherGucci New Woman Brown Rhinestones Knit Short Sleeve T-shirt Top Sz S Made ItalyGucci Women's T-shirt Blouses Size:s - Long Sleeve Print Crystals Casual TopGucci AnorakWomen's Gucci Pink Suede Leather Blazer Jacket Size 42Gucci Women's Black Wool Pleated Dress Pants Sz 54/18 Italy