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    

Authentic Gucci Crest Raccoon Fur Collar Black Shearling Jacket Coat Parka Gg 38Gucci Tan Cashmere & Wool Jeweled Short Sleeve Sweater Size MediumGucci Brown & Metallic Silver Silk Tunic Size 44 NewGucci Deep Teal Velvet Single Button Blazer Jacket Size 44Gucci Charcoal Grey Wool & Black Velvet Single Button Blazer Jacket Size 42Gucci Women's 100% Silk Black Long Sleeve Sheer Blouse Top Size Xs Made In ItalyGucci 2pc White Single Button Blazer & Pencil Skirt Suit Size 42/46Fabulous Gucci Dress. Small. Brand New With Tags $1950.00. No Reserve!Auth Gucci Black Pinstriped Wool Blazer Jacket Sz 38 Ital Bn566Gucci On Shoulder Cut Out Dress SGucci White Cotton Short Sleeve Horsebit Top Size 44Ladies gucci black Hoodie Tracksuit Size Large / Uk 12Gucci New Women's T-shirt, Top Size M, Blouses Printed Crystals Vintage G.gucci Raspberry Cashmere Cable Knit Cardigan Twinset Sz It 42Womens Gucci Guilty Logo L/s Shirt Top Sz LGucci Bust= 34" Green Cotton Knit Short Sleeve.excond. Rhinestone Belt In FabricNew Authentic Gucci Floral Long Sleve Silk DressGucci New Sz 38 - 2 Authentic Black Cocktail Party Evening Designer DressArmy Green Belted Jacket, New W/o Tags, Gucci -40~ Gucci Structured Velvet Blazer / Jacket (forever Classic!) ~ 38Gucci New Woman Black Single Breasted Blazer Size 42 It Made In Italy Jacket OffGucci * Leopard And Leather Tunic Top * Size 46Gucci New Woman Pink Straight Leg Pants Trouser Size 44 It Made In Italy HolidayGucci Leather Suit Shirt Sz 42 Trousers Sz 38 AuthenticGucci Vintage Luxury Shirt Coral/orange Leather Soft Suede Long Sleeves 42/12Fabulous Womens Grey 100% Cashmere Gucci Sweater Size XxlGucci Tan Long Sleeve Dress With Belt Size SGucci Size 40 Black Silk Blouse Gucci Size 40 Black Silk Blouse Gucci Black SilkWomen's Gucci Iridescent Long Sleeve Silk Blend Blouse 40Rare - Tom Ford For Gucci (it44) Fall 1999 Black Leather Ruffle-slv Zip Jacket Gucci Black Long Sleeve Cut-out Top 100% Authentic Brand New LargeGucci Black Long Sleeve Belted Stretch Jersey Dress Gucci Dark Blue Denim Short Shorts Size 42 Adorable! Worn Only Once!!Gucci Black Dress Pants New W/tags Wool/ Mohair Sz 44 Made In Italy Us Size 12Gucci Ss14 Stone Washed Blue Denim Mid Rise Skinny Jeans 40 £375 Net-a-porter