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    

New $3,200 Gucci Black Russian Floral Print Babouska Cocktail Dress Us 4 / It 40Tom Ford For Gucci Red Velvet Suit Size 40 Khloe Kardashian Gucci Teal Long Sleeve Collared Button Down Dress Sz 42 NwtKhloe Kardashian Gucci Black/white Square Dimensional Long Sleeve Romper Sz 44Gucci Black Denim Corset Ankle Lacing Chic Jeans Sz 42 ItaNew $1350 Gucci 2016 Pink Red Gold Silk Blend Sweater Cardigan Size S 38Gucci Black Striped Semi Fitted Slim Gold Metallic Knit Jumper Sweater S £850New $1980 Gucci 2016 Bejewled Embroidered Green Bow Jersey Sweatshirt Grey S 38Gucci BodysuitKhloe Kardashian Gucci Green Pleated Silk Soft Pants Sz 42Gucci Made In Italy Tom Ford Era Navy Blue Pintstripe Power Suit Jacket Pants 44Gucci Black Wool Fitted Classic Blazer Jacket Sz 40 Ital Bn68Gucci Vintage Quilted Puffy Italy Paisley Long Sleeve Sweater Top Sweatshirt MGucci Made In Italy Mixed Cotton Fabric Centimeters 200 X 140Gucci 1970's Equestrian Boot Theme Vintage Dress With Horsebit Belt Gucci Set Sleeveless Sheer Blouse Leather Tie Keyhole & Skinny Pants Sz 42 Us 6Gucci Black Strapless Satin Buckled Top Size 38Nwt Gucci Wool Python Top Size LGucci Silk Blouse With Belt Size MediumCollectors Iconic Rare Gucci Tom Ford Spring 2000 Pants Trousers It 38 Uk 6 XsWomen's Gucci Guilty Black Gold Long Sleeve V-neck Shirt Top Size LargeLadies Gucci Dark Brown Fitted Blazer Suit Jacket Uk 10 - Cl2 B52Nwt Gucci Polyamide Olive Green Women's Trench Coat, 42/us 6-8, Beauty!Ladies Vintage Gucci Long Coat, Khaki Wool, Size 42, XlNwt Gucci Ivory Causal Blazer Sz 40 Bn52Gucci Dress ShirtGucci Miss / Women Shirt Size 2xlTom Ford For Gucci Black Leather Trench Circa 1999 Size 42Womens Gucci Blouse Black With Chains And Charms Print Nwts Size 44Collectors Iconic Rare Gucci Tom Ford F/w 2001 Zipper Pants Trousers It 42 Uk 10Gucci Cardigan New With Tag Black MediumAuth Gucci Black Cotton Sleeveless Round Neck Ribbed Tank Top Sz SGucci Women's Blouse Top With (gg) Monogram Navy Blue (m/l)Gucci Straight Fit Zip Waist Wool Trousers, Fully Lined, Size It40 (uk 6/8)Auth Gucci Women Black Casual Pants Size 28 100% Cotton Very Good Made In Italy Gucci Miss / Women Shirt Size XlGucci Purple Velvet Zip Up Jacket With Bell Sleeve Sz 46/12Gucci Beige Blouse Shirt Dress Top Longsleeve Sz 38Womens Gucci Black Pleated Pants With Bottom Zipper- Size 40Scoop Neck Vintage Gucci Top With LogoGucci Bubble Gum Matte Satin Dress (size 42)Paolo Gucci Womens Sweater Shell Sz 95 Gucci Womens Jacket Size SGucci Women's Brown Flare Leg Dress Pants - Nwt Size 40Gucci Womans 40 (6) Beige Wool/cashmere Dress Pants. Nwt. Italy Sharp! (2)