In 2018, Gucci became the fourth most valuable luxury fashion and accessory brand in the world, having beaten names you know and love like Dior, Burberry and Prada. Gucci’s brand value grew the most of any luxury fashion label, and since 2017, was up 30% to $12.9 billion. Gucci’s Chief Executive, Marco Bizzarri, and Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, have been identified as the reasons behind the spike as they took a more youthful approach to designs in an effort to attract and retain a new generation of luxury shoppers.
Coincidentally, teens and millennials have become completely obsessed with Gucci’s iconic GG logo. Hard to miss since it’s splashed all over social media, fashion blogs and rap videos—the Gucci GG logo belt has become a status symbol. It’s wrapped around the tiny waists of celebrities and influencers all over the world, making it a must-have accessory of the moment.
While Gucci is enjoying a star-studded revival, thanks in part to the resurgence of everything 90’s, it’s important remember the designs that made Gucci what it is today. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the classic handbag styles and fabrics that put Gucci permanently on the luxury map.
But first, check out this article we were featured in Who What Wear about Gucci handbags. Our own Emily Erkel was interviewed.
GG: A Designer Sign of the Times
Gucci was established in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, an Italian man who sold leather goods and luggage from his store in Florence, Italy. Many of his customers were aristocratic horse riders and their demands for leather riding gear inspired Guccio to incorporate equestrian imagery, like the horsebit, in his designs.
During World War II, sanctions were in place that limited the materials used for goods, so Gucci improvised and created designs out of hemp and cotton canvas, and covered them with the now infamous GG Supreme logo.
The Bamboo Bag
In 1947, Gucci launched his trademark bag, which featured a curved bamboo top handle. Elizabeth Taylor, Vanessa Redgrave and Ingrid Bergman were spotted toting the design, quickly making it one of the hottest accessories of the 40’s, and beyond.
The Jackie O Bag
In 1961, Gucci’s hobo shoulder bag was renamed the Jackie O Bag, after Jackie Kennedy Onassis started toting it. The Jackie O Bag was relaunched and updated in 1999 and 2009.
The Flora Bag
The beautiful Flora pattern was originally designed for Grace Kelly in 1966 after she turned to Guccio’s son for a beautiful flora print for a silk scarf. It was rebooted in 2005 and printed on many canvas bags.
The Boston Bag
A timeless barrel design with top handles and a top-zip closure. It’s been updated multiple times in different fabrics, colors and prints. Many feature the Gucci red and green vintage web stripe detail, which was created in the 1950’s and derived from a saddle girth.
The Guccissima & Microsguccussima Designs
In 2006, a new take on the interlocking GG pattern was introduced. The Guccissima, which means “most Gucci” in Italian, and Microguccissima patterns were embossed into the buttery leather goods.
The Soho Discos
The Gucci Soho bag can be spotted strapped across the shoulders and bodies of stylish ladies in Soho, and beyond. Whether carrying the cross-body version or the tote, the unmistakable fringed tassel and embroidered GG logo make it instantly recognizable.
When the Dionysus—a dramatic, structured bag designed by Alessandro Michele—hit the shelves and online shops in 2015, it immediately became a star. The aged metal clasp tipped with two tiger heads and glistening chain straps make a strong statement against the buttery leather, smooth canvas and luxe python designs, much like the namesake god.
The Sylvie Bag
Alessandro Michele introduced the now iconic Sylvie Bag shortly after the Dionysus. Whether crafted in buttery soft leather, rich brocade or plush snakeskin, this design makes an entrance with Gucci’s saddle-inspired designer racing stripes and glimmering hardware.
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