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The House of Gucci: Brand History & A Guide to 7 of Gucci's Most Iconic Bags

Vintage Gucci Bag and Pink suit

Our brand of the month is the 100 year old Italian heritage luxury brand: Gucci. By far one of the most popular designer brands on tiktok and amongst all generations, discover our brand spotlight on everything you need to know about Gucci's history, creative collaborations and our guide to the best vintage and contemporary Gucci bags to invest in now. 


Guccio Gucci

Gucci’s humble beginnings started when Guccio Gucci founded the label in 1921 in Florence, Italy. Inspired by the luxurious luggage he saw whilst working at the Savoy Hotel in London, Guccio returned to Italy to start designing his own line of leather travel goods. Gucci's early designs were inspired by equestrianism, notably, the iconic horsebit Gucci loafer, that continues to be one of the most coveted Gucci designer shoes since the 1950s. 

Gucci logo and stripe on travel bags

In the 1960s, Guccio’s son – Aldo Gucci — began using the double-G logo, which stands for Guccio Gucci. The brand expanded into clothing, watches, and jewelry and Gucci's designs became popular amongst many celebrities. Including Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy, and Elizabeth Taylor, these 80s fashion icons played a crucial role in establishing Gucci as the pinnacle of excessive glamour and luxury.

Jacqueline Kennedy and The Jackie Gucci bag

In the early 2000s, Gucci underwent a major restructuring, with new CEO Robert Polet focusing on revitalizing the brand's image and improving its financial performance following the. The brand launched a successful fragrance line and expanded into eyewear and home decor.

Today, Gucci is one of the world's leading luxury fashion brands, known for its bold designs, high-quality craftsmanship, and innovative marketing campaigns. The brand has also been a leader in sustainability, launching its Gucci Equilibrium program in 2018 to promote responsible business practices. In 2019, Gucci was ranked the world's most valuable luxury brands by Forbes, with a brand value of $22.4 billion and remains one of the most coveted brands for both their vintage and contemporary designs amongst all generations.

Gucci's Creative Collaborations

We absolutely love this one, given that this British singer heartthrob has named one of his songs after us. Ok, not quite. BUT, we’d put our money on him loving our collection of vintage Gucci bags and accessories. Anyway…

In 2018, Gucci announced that it was partnering with Harry Styles for a limited-edition capsule collection, rightly titled, the HA HA HA campaign. A collaboration between Styles and Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, included a range of scene-stealing suits, floral prints, bold patterns, animal motifs, pearl accessories and even dresses! Some of the standout pieces included a paisley suit, a pink velvet jacket, and colourful loafers. Fashion-forward to its core, the collab blurred the lines between masculine and feminine silhouettes whilst revitalizing Gucci’s iconic vintage bags. Michelle and Styles made fashion fun again, it was highly anticipated by fans of both Harry Styles and Gucci, and sold out quickly after its release.

Gucci and Harry Styles campaign

Since then, Harry Styles has continued to be a frequent collaborator with Gucci, often wearing the brand's designs to red carpet events and performances, including the bamboo-top handle bag and The Jackie, Styles has not only successfully taken vintage to vogue, but proved that men can wear purses too! 

Harry styles carrying Gucci bamboo bag on the red carpet Harry styles carrying the Gucci Jackie bag, flared jeans and fur coat

Given how much everyone is crushing on designer collabs these days, other note-worthy Gucci collabs include: Gucci X Adidas, Gucci X Balenciaga, Gucci X XBox, Gucci X Disney, Gucci X Commes des garcons, Gucci X The North Face and Gucci X Palace.  

7 Iconic and Timeless Gucci Bags

1930s: Gucci Canvas suitcase 

WW2-imposed Italian sanctions on leather forced Guccio Gucci to explore alternative materials such as hemp and cotton, on which the recognizable tonal-brown patterned GG canvas was born. Where did the iconic first come to life? On a series of Gucci cotton-canvas suitcases in the late 1930s. Today, the pattern is known as the GG Supreme, and reigns supremely amongst a host of Gucci’s most popular bags, although nothing beats the original canvas suitcase for traveling in style. These make a great investment when sourced from second hand designer online shops. Step aside Louis Vuitton suitcases, enter the Gucci Canvas Suitcase.

1947: Gucci Bamboo

black Gucci bamboo bag

Towards the end of the war, Gucci’s artisans developed a technique for heating and bending Japan-imported bamboo cane to their iconic bamboo-handle bags. First born in 1947, these bags' unique style were an instant success amongst Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor and continue to be just as coveted today. 

1955: Gucci Horse-bit

After recognizing that Gucci shoppers enjoyed a side of history with their handbag, Aldo Gucci used the myth that the Gucci family had once been saddle-makers to nobility to the brands benefit. Leaning into equestrian-inspired design, he took the green and red stripes seen on girth straps and turned them into a signature Gucci symbol. This was the same case for the horse-bit, which first appeared on a handbag in 1955 and in terms of hardware, is comparable to Chanel’s double ‘C’s. Every creative director has reiterated the horse-bit into their designs. In 2020, the house’s cruise collection reprised the Gucci Horse-bit – double-D rings – reiterated into tote, satchel and shoulder bags

1961: The Jackie

 Gucci jackie bag and pink suit

The Jackie became popularized in 1961 following a paparazzi shot of Jackie Kennedy carrying the unstructured, unisex hobo bag. In honour of the First Lady, the style was later renamed after her. The bag comes in a plethora of styles (Gucci monogram, floral prints and leather), making it one of the best Gucci bags to invest. Not just for the integral role it plays in Gucci history; the abundance of choice between prints and leather is a great opportunity to find a model that’s truly unique-to-you!

2012: The soho disco

Signalling the start of Gucci’s creation of covetable, entry-level bags, presenting this gateway Gucci gem: The Soho Disco. With its central logo, cross-body strap and swinging tassel, the bag can be worn as a cross-body. It is deceptively spacious, making it the perfect match for anyone looking to purchase an affordable day-to night designer bag. The Disco remains one of Gucci’s most popular styles to date – We especially love it in monogram!

2015: The Dionysus

Gucci Dionysus bag

Successor to Frida Giannini, Alessandro Michele was appointed Gucci’s creative director in 2015. Michele revolutionized the brand, introducing vintage kitsch, artisanal fantasy and even more exaggerated and extravagant patterns into the global luxury fashion space. Now one of the most powerful voices in fashion, we were sad to see his resignation in 2022. However, his designs serve to ensure his legacy lives on. Amongst stand-outs is the Dionysus bag. Dripping with drama, this sophisticated and structured bag is recognized for it’s hardware: an aged metal clasp with two tiger heads.

2016: The Marmont

Included in Michele's stand-out creations, The Marmont bags come with a chain and cross body strap. The bags portray a synergy between a 70s bohemian spirit and the glamour of Hotel Marmont. You can never go wrong with this iconic bag, featuring the semi flipped Gucci logo and a semi-puffed, chevron-style quilted pattern of leather Where to buy vintage and secondhand Gucci bags online and in the UK?

Discover our curated secondhand Gucci edit here.


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