The iconic Italian brand, Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Italy, making it one of the oldest and renowned Italian luxury brands. Similar to how Louis Vuitton got started, Guccio Gucci first specialized in the production of luxury luggage for the wealthy upper-class traveler.
Eventually, the brand would go on to manufacture products in knitwear, silk, shoes, and handbags. It was actually during World War II that due to a shortage of leather, it was forced to produce products in other alternate materials, like cotton. This led to the iconic introduction of the ‘GG’ monogram and the Gucci (green, red, green) stripes in cotton canvas.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, the Gucci brand continued to expand under the leadership Guccio’s three sons, Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo. However, during the 1980s, the brand struggled due to family disputes among other problems.
In the 1990s, Tom Ford was hired as the ready-wear designer and later promoted to Created Director, it was Ford who was credited with restoring the brand’s reputation. Currently, Gucci is under the creative leadership of Alessandro Michele, who has held various roles in the company over the years.
1. Gucci Bamboo
The original Gucci Bamboo handbags were designed during World War II in response to wartime rations and the need to find alternatives to the typical luxury materials used for Gucci handbags.
The craftsmen at Gucci came up with the idea of using bamboo from Japan. They would apply heat to the bamboo and shape the material into a semi-circle and then used as a decorative handle.
The first Gucci Bamboo handbags were first created in 1947, the bag itself was a small structured handbag constructed in pebbled pigskin with the new innovative top-handle made from bamboo. During the 1950s and 1960s, this handbag became one of Gucci’s most iconic and sought after handbags.
In 2010, Frida Giannini revitalized the Gucci Bamboo handbag and relaunched the product line not only in the traditional pigskin leather but in newer innovative materials.
2. Gucci Jackie
In 1961, a photo of Jackie Kennedy was taken with her carrying an unstructured tote that sent demand soaring for that particular bag. It was later renamed after the first lady and has remained one Gucci’s most successful handbags within the archive.
In 1999, Tom Ford brought it back from the archive and again in 2009, Frida Giannini relaunched the Jackie bag renaming it the ‘New’ Gucci Jackie.
3. Gucci Guccissima
In 2006, Frida Giannini launched the iconic Guccissima handbags, which offered a new take on the typical Gucci monogram canvas handbags. The word Guccissima literally translates into ‘the most Gucci’.
These handbags can be found in a variety of different styles and colors, however, the design remains the same with the Gucci monogram embossed into soft leather creating a distinct recognizable pattern.
4. Gucci Soho Disco
The Gucci Soho Disco is considered a gateway bag for women, it has a lower retail price point than most Gucci handbags.
These handbags come in a variety of different colors in pebbled leather with a central GG monogram, crossbody strap, and tassel. The design is meant for the bag to sit comfortably against your hip.
The Soho Disco remains one of Gucci’s most popular handbags to this day.
5. Gucci Nymphaea
The Gucci Nymphaea was inspired by water lilies and is another collection that features a semi-circular bent bamboo handle with a sleek and structured tote bag design. This bag also features a longer strap that can let you wear the bag crossbody style as well.
The bag typically can be found in the timeless monochrome soft black or soft pink leather, however, you can also find this collection in calf half or other printed designs.
6. Gucci Marmont
The Gucci GG Marmont has quickly become one of the brand’s it-bags to have in your collection. Alessandro Michele’s goal with this bag was to connect the brand’s history with the present with the introduction of this product.
This collection comes in a lot of different shapes and styles, the signature material being soft matlassé leather and the quintessential GG hardware. The styles include shoulder bags, waist bags, bucket bags, and wallets just to name a few. You can also find this collection in the traditional GG monogram canvas material as well.
7. Gucci Dionysus
The Gucci Dionysus handbag collection was originally released the women’s Fall/Winter 2015 fashion show. This covetable handbag was inspired by Dionysus, son of Zeus, who transformed himself into a tiger in order to carry a nymph across the river.
This iconic handbag has a structured style in a variety of different materials from the traditional GG monogram canvas to leather, velvet, or even tweed. The aged-looking silver-tone horseshoe-shaped metal clasp tipped with two tiger heads--a direct nod to the it-bags’ namesake.
8. Gucci Ophidia
The last iconic handbag that we will talk about today is the Gucci Ophidia, a line of bags, which was first debuted on the catwalk during the Cruise 2018 fashion show. This iconic bag marries the past Gucci GG monogram canvas and Web stripe design paired with the GG Marmont hardware. This bag is perfect if you love collecting the iconic vintage styles from the 1970s.
This collection includes shoulder bags, tote bags, waist bags, bucket bags, backpacks and more. In addition to the classic monogram GG canvas, you can find this collection in a variety of different materials including, leather, suede, exotic leathers, and more.