The Ultimate Gucci Bags Guide: History, Leathers, Styles, Authenticity

Gucci: A History and Description of the Famous Luxury Brand

If you are a fashion mogul or keep up with the fashion world, Gucci is a brand that cannot be missed. Influencers wear it, celebrities wear it, and almost everyone who doesn't wear it wants to. Gucci is well-known in the world and fashion, and their prices reflect it.

What is it that makes Gucci so great? If you are planning to invest in Gucci, what do you need to know first? Let's find out.

A Brief History of Gucci

Gucci as a brand was founded in the year 1921 by an Italian designer by the name of Guccio Gucci.

The brand was initially established as a leather goods and luggage store. A majority of the people who were purchasing Gucci was the time were wither aristocrats.

In fact, their need for horse-riding gear led to the development of the Horsebit icon and many of the other equestrian symbols Gucci has to this day.

Gucci was a smart man. He was able to recognize that the wealthy people valued their horses and horse riding so much that he tailored his brand towards them. 

During the time in which these bags were first created, valuable materials were extremely difficult to get access to.

Because of this, Gucci began turning to other materials such as canvas, hemp, and jute to create his bags. To this day, these materials are still used to create some of the iconic Gucci bags.

 Unfortunately. Guccio Gucci died in the year 1953.

In 1994, Tom Ford, an American fashion designer, and filmmaker became the creative director of the Gucci brand. With his unique visions, he brought a new life to Gucci and sales skyrocketed by 90%. That is a big rise in sales!

In the year 1999, Gucci entered into a partnership with a brand that is now known as Kering.

By teaming up with what was then Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, Gucci became a multi-brand luxury group known as the ‘Gucci Group’.

Tom Ford and Dominico De Sole, the president of Gucci, formed this group under the subsidizing of Kering.

When that era ended, Alessandro Michele became Gucci’s creative director in 2015.

With him as the director, Gucci continues to hold a lot of power and prestige in the world of fashion. It is known right away when someone is carrying a Gucci bag. Their extraordinary designs and materials are not to be missed.

Gucci Fabrics, Types, and Durability

Gucci is famous for its use of non-traditional materials and unique designs.

Some of the most popular fabrics that will be discussed include GG canvas, Diamante, Flora, and Guccissima Leather.

Here is a comprehensive list of the different Gucci fabrics:

  • Gucci GG Canvas: The most popular of the Gucci fabrics and designs is the classic canvas. This canvas is the most easily recognizable to be Gucci with its GG symbols in diamond patterns and the famous nude-brown colors.This fabric and design were established in the 1960s and have reigned as a symbol of luxury and prestige since them. This bag type is woven out of durable canvas and conjoined with leather trim.
  • Gucci Vintage Web: If you ever see a Gucci bag with the well-known red and green stripes on it, that is the Vintage Web material and design. With its creation in the 1950s, this bag was designed around the equestrian saddle girth. A saddle girth is something that is placed on the saddle to keep it in place. Another word for a saddle girth was "web" hence the name Vintage Web. Now, this design and material are used throughout many of Gucci's products such as their shoes, bags, and more.
  • Gucci Guccissima: In Italian, the phrase ‘Guccissima' translates to the ‘most Gucci'. The traditional GG diamond pattern, in this case, is embossed onto Guccissima leather. This design and leather are very recognizable and nearly impossible to be mistaken for another brand. The Guccissima leather was introduced into Gucci by a former accessories designer, Frida Giannini, in 2006.
  • Gucci Microguccissima: Take Gucci Guccissima but make it smaller. There you go, you have Gucci Microguccissima!
  • Gucci Diamante: This design is actually one of the oldest designs as it was first woven into the hemp luggage bags in the 1930s. While the use of hemp was a way around the leather shortages, it became one of the very first and most iconic designs. While this was before the well-known GG symbol, the diamond pattern is very prestigious. It is not created on both canvas and leather as well.
  • Gucci Flora: This Gucci pattern is by far the most different from the rest. The floral pattern found on some Gucci bags was first created per request of Grace Kelly for the Monaco princess in the year 1966. This print was then taken by Frida Giannini in 2006 and amped up to be what it is now. Now, it can be found on bags, shoes, and other small goods.

 

What Makes Gucci so Recognizable?

While the materials and designs themselves are very distinguishable as Gucci, what takes the icing is the hardware and accents that Gucci adds to their goods.

These include anything from the interlocking Gs to the Horsebit. Below are some of the most iconic Gucci accents and hardware:

  • Gucci GG: The now-famous GG was first created in the 1960s to represent the initials of Guccio Gucci himself. These interlocking Gs can now be seen on all of the bags, accessories, and more.
  • Gucci Horsebit: As stated earlier, Guccio Gucci recognized the importance of tailoring his designed to the elite through their love of horses. Through this came the Horsebit design in 1953. It was originally placed onto a pair of loafers, but can now be seen on bags, clothing, and other goods.
  • Gucci Bamboo: In the 1940s, the bamboo seen on Gucci goods was made of burnishing cane sticks. The specific curve in the handle made of bamboo was meant to be reminiscent of a horse saddle. This element became very popular and was desired by royalty and those of high status. Over time, it fell under the radar, but it was revamped by Frida Giannini in the 2000s and has regained its popularity today.
  • Gucci Piston Lock: This accent is most commonly seen on the ‘Jackie’ bag which is discussed in the next section. It looks like just what it is called: a piston.
  • Gucci Crest: Following the wat, Gucci came out what a crest that featured a knight and a shield surrounded by a ribbon stating the Gucci name. A sign of royalty and prestige, this crest became wildly popular.
  • Gucci Lady Lock: The Lady Lock, one of the most recent additions to Gucci, was created in Fall/Winter of 2013. The Gucci name can be seen embossed in a shiny silver plate featuring a very sleek and minimal shape.

Most Popular Gucci Bags of All Time

Gucci bags can be found in all varying sizes, shapes, patterns, and colors, but some specific bags reign superior in popularity over others.

Here are the top Gucci bags of all time:

  1. Gucci Bamboo Bag: This bag was discussed earlier, but it is worthy enough to be talked about twice. This bag is so popular because of the innovative bamboo handles as well as it being so easy to handle with the long strap and the short bamboo handles.
  2. Gucci Queen Margaret: The Gucci Queen Margaret is one of the most desirable bags among fashion lovers. This bag is so loved because it manages to mix the old with the new and do it fashionably. This bag can be seen with a pearl and crystal bee closure, meant to symbolize both wisdom and love. It also has an ID holder attached with the word ‘loved’ embossed on it. It isn’t wrong, this bag definitely is loved.
  3. Gucci GG Marmont: The Gucci Marmont design can be seen on backpacks, belt bags, and purses. It is owned by all of the biggest celebrities and it-girls and is a highly desirable design also combining the best of the old and new. It comes in many different styles, so you are free to choose which one best fits you.
  4. Gucci Jackie Bag: The Jackie bag is one of the classic Gucci bags that was relaunched in 2009. The Jackie Bag is popular because of its timelessness and modern aspects. It is elegant while still being large enough to carry all of the necessities. Its name comes from Jackie Kennedy after she was seen wearing a Gucci bag in 1961 that every one after longed to own.
  5. Gucci Dionysus: Even though this bag is relatively new, it has already launched itself into the most popular ranks. It is inspired by the myth of Dionysus, the son of Zeus, who changed himself into a tiger to carry someone across a river. To represent this myth, this bag comes with bees and flowers assorted all over it.

 

Current Gucci Bag Prices (USA & UK)

 

USA

UK

Gucci Bamboo Bag

$1,300-$4,000

1,600-2,300

Gucci Queen Margaret

$1,400-$3,000

880-2,140

Gucci GG Marmont

$1,200-$2,000

1,300-2,000

Gucci Jackie Bag

$1,980-$3,000

1,400-2,000

Gucci Dionysus

$830-$4,500

1,500-2,400

 

Where to get the Best Gucci Prices

Investing in designer bags can be expensive, but the process varies everywhere.

You would be led to believe that the prices for designer bags are the same across the world, but due to the currency conversion rate, it doesn’t always transfer over the same.

If you are wanting to pay more for your bags, which isn’t what people often want to do, the United States is the place to go.

However, if you are like everyone else and want your bags at a discounted price, most places in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, are significantly lower in pricing.

While companies are trying to make the pricing the same across the board, at the moment, it is much less in European countries.

As you can see in the chart above, though the currencies are not the same, the pricing is significantly lower in the United Kingdom in comparison to the United States.

Buying New vs. Pre-Owned: The Pros and Cons

When you are saving up money to invest in a Gucci bag, you may come into the conflict of whether or not you should invest in a brand-new Gucci bag or a pre-owned Gucci bag.

This can become a big conflict because it may save you money to buy pre-owned, but you may also miss out on the feeling of buying a brand-new bag of your own.

Pros of Buying New

  • Freedom of Choice: With a new bag, you get a variety of choices from all that Gucci has to offer. You aren't limited to what the used store has in stock at the moment but instead, have the opportunity to purchase a bag you really love.
  • That ‘New Bag’ Feeling: You know that feeling you get when you buy a brand-new dress? That is the feeling that we are talking about. When you buy a brand-new Gucci bag, you get that warm feeling of having something that is yours from the start.
  • Longer Life: Buying a used Gucci bag comes with the risk of it not lasting as long since it may already be a few years old. With a brand-new bag, you can take care of it and ensure that it lasts you a lifetime.

Cons of Buying New

  • More Expensive: The most obvious con of buying a brand-new bag rather than a pre-owned bag is the price tag. The price of a new bag may be significantly higher than a pre-owned bag, so you just have to weigh out whether or not the bag is worth the investment or not.

Pros of Buying Pre-Owned

  • Save Money: By choosing to buy your luxury bags from a secondhand store, you can save a lot of money. There is still a wide variety of options at secondhand stores and you can snag a Gucci bag at a very affordable price.
  • A Gucci Bag is a Gucci Bag: No matter where you buy it, a Gucci bag is still a Gucci bag. Whether you buy it from a boutique, or you buy it secondhand, you still own a Gucci bag. Either way, it is a big investment that you should be proud of.

Cons of Buying Pre-Owned

  • Boutique Experience: The main thing that you miss out on when you buy secondhand is the experience of walking into a boutique and trying on different Gucci bags to find your perfect fit. Instead, you either purchase it online or happen to find one in a consignment store.
  • Older Styles: With a secondhand bag, you are likely investing in an older style of a Gucci bag. While these are still luxury and beautiful, they won't be as up to date with the current styles and designs.

 

How to Tell if Your Gucci is Fake

Since Gucci is such a high-ticket item, there are many people out there who try to make fake Gucci bags and sell them to those who don’t know enough to notice a difference. It is important that you know what you are buying before you spend a lot of money on something you didn’t even want. There are five easy steps to validate that your Gucci bag is real and authentic:

  1. Check for a Serial Number: When you are inspecting the bag you are purchasing, first look for a serial number. This number is most often located on the leather patch inside of the bag itself.No authentic Gucci bag will ever have their serial number on the sides of the bag. The tag you are looking for is either a rectangle or a square and can be looked up to validate its authenticity. On the serial tag itself, you should also be able to notice the following: a trademark symbol, Gucci has an interlocking G, ‘Made in Italy’ should be lowercase, and the font of Gucci should be the traditional Gucci font. However, for bags made in the 90s, the trademark will not be there, and the tags will be slightly more rounded. There are never letters in the serial number, but older bags may have other characters such as hyphens.
  2. Study the Logo Quality: The Gucci logo is a signature part of any Gucci product. While the older bags will have interlocking Gs on their logo, the newer bags now have overlapping Gs, so look out for that. If the logo looks cheap or plastic, it is likely fake.
  3. Check the Hardware Quality: All of the hardware on a Gucci bag from the zippers to the engraving should be high-quality. They will ever peel or dent but are instead made of strong metal. In more recent Gucci bags, a Gucci logo should be engraved on the bottom of the zipper, but it should never be blurry or unclear.
  4. Validate the Packaging: If you are buying a new Gucci product, it will never come in a plastic package. Instead, it will always come in a bag that protects the item from dust. Your package should also include what is called an information card. False cards will have different fonts, misspellings, or look cheaply made. Newer handbags will even come with a QR code consistent with the packaging paperwork.
  5. Look for a Controllato Card: Any authentic Gucci bag will include what is known as a controllato card. In Italian, this means that it is checked, and the card signifies that the bag is verified. While these cards can be easily counterfeited, ensure that the Gucci logo is on top followed by the word controllato then has a set of ten numbers at the bottom with a single space between them.

 

Which Gucci Bag Should You Buy First?

No one should ever tell you which bag to buy first because if you don’t feel confident with it, it is not worth the investment.

Because of this, my advice to you is to look through your options, weigh out which ones you like the best, and choose the one that makes you happy.

With an investment this big, it is important that you choose a bag that represents you and your style.

Every person’s individual style differs, so it is not up to me or anyone else to tell you what bag best fits your style.

There are many other styles aside from the ones listed in this article, so make sure to browse around, check out the different sizes, colors, patterns, and fabrics, and choose one that screams your name.

Is Investing in Gucci Really Worth it?

With the high price tags, it can be easy to second-guess spending your money on a purse when you can find one at a department store for less than $100.

You may stop and ask, ‘Is it really worth it to spend this much on a purse?’

The answer to this question is indefinite because worth is different for everyone. To you, a lover of fashion, spending over $800 on a high-quality purse may be worth it, but to someone else, it may be a waste of money.

Coming from someone who is obsessed with fashion, a Gucci bag is money well-spent. With the prestige it brings as well as quality material that will last for years and years to come, you will never have to waste money a cheaper bag that you are not head over heels forever again.

With quality that will last a lifetime and timeless styles, you are bound to carry your Gucci with pride.

However, taking into consideration the high price and limited stock on the website, this investment may not be worth it for some people.

It would definitely be something that would call for an investment, and that may be too high-risk for some.

However, with that being said, if you are ready to invest in a bag that will last a long time, Gucci is the way to go.

Comments

  • Posted by Karen on

    Would you be able to tell me the history of the New Britt Tote (medium)? I’ve owned a pre-loved one for years. I’m now looking for another one in very good condition. Can you tell me when the Britt came out, the price at the time it was first introduced and how many colors of the bag there were? Is there any way I can find out this information on other Gucci vintage handbags?

    Thank you.

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