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 Black & Purple Horsebit Print Silk Full-length Halter GownGucci Cotton Fabric For Dress, Skirt Or Jacket Made In Italy Cm 200 X 150Gucci Black Jersey Ruched Top Size SmallGucci Black Skinny Leg Ankle Zip Pants Size 44Gucci Pink Maroon Floral Print Poncho Top Blouse Sz It 40 Bn400Gucci Forest Green Cotton Belted Straight Leg Pants Sz It 40 Bn36Gucci Exclusively For Neiman Marcus Black Dress Size 38, Us Size 8Gucci Olive Green Cotton Genuine Fur Collar Built In Belt Jacket Sz It 42Gucci Cotton Fabric For Dress, Skirt Or Jacket Made In Italy Cm 195 X 150Gucci Lycra Bodycon Strapless DresGucci $1850 Runway Brown Long Maxi Gown Shirt Dress - Sze 42 (belt Missing)Gucci Black Sleeveless Shift Dress Size XsGucci Cotton Fabric For Dress, Skirt Or Shirt Made In Italy Cm 140 X 140Gucci Pink & Brown Silk Off-the-shoulder Blouse Size 42Gucci Dark Brown Bow Detail Velvet Trim Knee Length Pencil Skirt Sz It 40 Bn400Gucci Black Silk Knit Ruched Tank Size LargeGucci White Ivory Blouse Shirt Top Safari Pearl Button 44 Us 8Gucci Fw 2003 Tom Ford Authentic Black Stretch Mini Dress Spaghetti Straps 4Authentic Gucci Black Gold Sparkling Racerback Ribbed Tank Top Shirt Size MediumGucci Designer Black Dress Pants/slacks Womens Size 38 New!! With Tag!Gucci Bright Red Linen Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt Sz It 46 Bn406Gucci Women Black T-shirt Size Xl Embellished 95 % Viscose Excellent ItalyNwt Gucci Flora Kris Knight Pale Yellow Cady Silk Belted Dress Sz 40 $2200 +Gucci Sleeveless Shirt- 44Gucci Burgundy Purple Wrap Tank Shirt Top Crop S MGucci Black Wool Straight Leg Trousers Size 48Gucci Beige Trousers It42 10 Uk100% Authentic Gucci Beige Bootcut Trouser Pants Size 42 NewGucci Black Collared Short Sleeve Dress W/crest Size MGucci Denim Indigo Navy Metallic Denim Suit, Size 38/4Authentic Gucci Wool Sweater Jumper Size 8-10 Rrp$1450Runway Gucci Blouse W/huge Lion Brooch @waist Tom Ford Design Zamasport Gucci Gucci 0 2 38 Stunning Dark Blue & Black Suede Moto Biker Jacket Short Sexy!Gucci Metalic Jumper Sweater Size MGucci V Neck Jumper Sweater - Size 10True Religion Jeans 2 Pairs And A Gucci Belt Read Description For Details