Gucci Bags & Handbags


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The History of Gucci

Initially founded as a leather goods company by Guccio Gucci in 1921, the Italian retailer gained notoriety for its Bamboo handbags and A-list celebrity clientele by the middle of the 20th century. In 1981, the growing Gucci canon expanded to ready-to-wear clothing. Later, famed creative director Tom Ford reimagined Gucci with his notably risqué take on luxury fashion. Ford was succeeded briefly by Alessandra Facchinetti and then Frida Giannini in 2006. In 2015, the House replaced Giannini with her relatively unknown colleague and fellow accessories designer Alessandro Michele.

Michele’s leadership impacted the brand instantly. Known for infusing his collections with romantic undercurrents and eclecticism, he set a maximalist tone. The result: Michele effectively turned Gucci into a fashion darling. Michele possesses a knack for reviving signature house codes and archival handbag designs in unexpected yet thoroughly modern ways. It’s no wonder collectors and fashionistas worldwide covet his Gucci collections.

Materials and Craftsmanship of Gucci Handbags

Recognizable materials exclusive or signature to the brand help Gucci designs earn their It-bag status and are a familiar favorite among collectors. Commonly used Gucci materials include:

  • GG Supreme coated canvas and soft GG Supreme coated microfiber
  • GG embossed leather
  • Guccissima and MicroGuccissima GG debossed leather; also available in patent finish
  • Prints: Bengal, Bloom, Flora, Strawberry, Tian and others
  • Premium leathers: matelassé leather, metallic leather and leather with a vintage effect

Other Gucci handbag fabrics encompass exotic leathers like anaconda, crocodile, lizard, ostrich, python and snakeskin, and decorative textiles such as metallic brocade, plaid or GG printed tweeds and velvet. 

Emblematic green-red or blue-red woven Web trim inspired by equestrian racing stripes also characterizes many Gucci pieces. Introduced as house codes in 1951 and 1963, respectively, Gucci trademarked both woven accents in the U.S. by the late 1980s.

The Defining Feature of Gucci’s Handbag Collections: Hardware

One of the easiest ways to identify a Gucci collection is by its hardware. Under Michele’s leadership, Gucci has adorned its most recent series with various distinctive metal ornaments and logos, often pulled directly from or inspired by pieces in the brand’s century-old archives. Noteworthy Gucci handbag collections and their hardware include:

  • Gucci Arli: Prominent, right-facing double “GGs” 
  • Gucci Bamboo: Curved bamboo top handle and on some models, a bamboo turn-lock closure or strap anchors
  • Gucci Dionysus: Two metal tiger heads at either end of an embellished horseshoe shape
  • Gucci Horsebit 1955: Polished metal fixed horsebit
  • Gucci The Jackie 1961: Gleaming piston hardware attached to a fold-over leather strap closure
  • Gucci GG Marmont: Sleek and curvy right-facing double “GGs”
  • Gucci Neo Vintage: A brown leather oval tab with foil-print skull or feline head ornament and foil-print Gucci lettering
  • Gucci Off The Grid: Gold-tone script logo with “Gucci” printed in full and centered over a prominent circular leather tab
  • Gucci Ophidia: A small GG Marmont ornament over leather or a striped Web accent
  • Gucci Padlock: Polished metal key lock closure plus a leather clochette with functional keys
  • Gucci Rajah: A brooch-like gold-tone tiger head ornament embellished with crystals and colored enamel; some models also spotlight archival two-tone horsebit hardware
  • Gucci Soho: No hardware; instead, a large interlocking “GG” logo in raised leather
  • Gucci Sylvie: Chunky curb chain and buckle hardware over a Web stripe accent
  • Gucci Sylvie 1969: A narrow chain and buckle inlaid on the flap closure

Gucci handbags not immediately discernible by their hardware encompass men’s GG embossed accessories, which feature allover leather construction. Additionally, the Broadway collection, a series primarily composed of lavishly decorated evening clutches and shoulder bags, is also not recognized by its hardware.

Gucci’s Beloved Handbags

Gucci’s professed Beloved handbags incorporate four covet-worthy collections: Dionysus, GG Marmont, Gucci Horsebit 1955 and The Jackie 1961. Distinctive in materials, silhouette and hardware, these models offer a contemporary approach to archival designs, a hallmark of Michele-era bags. Handbags from these four lines serve as archetypal Gucci pieces that hold a special place in the brand’s catalog, as well as Gucci admirers’ collections.

Gucci Handbags’ Value and Collectibility

Gucci’s Beloved handbags — Dionysus, GG Marmont, Gucci Horsebit 1955 and The Jackie 1961 — are a safe bet for collectors seeking great investment pieces. Each collection enjoys high resale values and a strong presence on secondary markets, except for The Jackie 1961, which experiences high value and low availability, likely due to its newness.

In addition to the Beloved collections, Gucci Arli, Gucci Ophidia, Gucci Padlock and Gucci Soho handbags represent the most desirable collections, with an average resale value of 61% to 72% across styles. For men, GG embossed accessories easily earn 70% of their original value and above.

Most pre-loved Gucci handbags sell 45% to 90% of their retail value, depending on the models’ popularity. As expected, recently released Gucci handbags generally earn more than older styles. For example, Gucci’s Off The Grid recycled nylon collection, launched in 2020, earns 80-90% of its retail value on secondary markets. On the lower end, Gucci Bamboo bags, which the House introduced in 1947, typically bring in 35-60% of their retail value when purchased secondhand.