The most iconic Gucci bags of all time
1. The Gucci canvas suitcase
As WW2-imposed Italian sanctions hampered leather craftsmanship, Guccio Gucci began to explore alternative materials such as hemp and cotton, and the now-iconic tonal-brown patterned GG canvas was born. Its first starring role? On a series of suitcases in the late 1930s.
The success of these cotton-canvas vessels continued long after the sanctions were lifted. Today, the GG Supreme (as the patterned canvas is now known) reigns, well, supreme across a host of the most popular Gucci bags, from the classic Boston to the new Ophidia.
2. The Gucci Bamboo
Towards the end of the war, when materials were still in short supply, Gucci’s artisans developed a method of heating and bending bamboo cane (which could still be imported from Japan) to create strong, rigid handbag handles.
In 1947, the first Gucci bamboo-handle bag was debuted. It was an instant success, with women from Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, and, later, Princess Diana favoring this distinguished style.
3. The Gucci Jackie
In 1961, an image of Jackie Kennedy carrying an unstructured, unisex Gucci tote sent demand soaring. Later renamed in honor of the First Lady, this style has played an integral role in Gucci history – it was first reprieved from the archive by Tom Ford in 1999, (a move that coincided with the birth of It-bag mania,) then again in 2009 by Frida Giannini, under the moniker New Jackie.
4. The Gucci Flora
The painterly Flora pattern was originally designed by Guccio’s son, Rodolfo Gucci, for Grace Kelly in 1966. She had visited the designer in his atelier, in search of a silk scarf. Guccio, deeming none of the house’s current patterns appropriate for the Princess of Monaco, designed the watercolor floral pattern especially for her.
2005 saw Frida Giannini, then accessories designer for Gucci, relaunch the Flora pattern on a series of printed canvas bags – a move which preceded her appointment to creative director of ready-to-wear.
5. The Gucci Guccissima
In 2006, Frida Giannini offered a new take on the iconic GG monogram pattern. Translating literally as ‘the most Gucci’, this younger sister features the inimitable pattern embossed into buttery leather – a design that played a key role in the decade’s logomania obsession.
6. The Gucci Soho Disco
Marking Gucci’s foray into covetable entry-level bags, the Soho Disco, with its central logo, cross-body strap, and swinging tassel, was a gateway Gucci gem. The silhouette is shaped to sit comfortably over the hip, yet is deceptively spacious, making it a loyal desk-to-dinner option. The Soho Disco remains one of the most popular Gucci bags today.
7. The Gucci Dionysus
When Alessandro Michele, former head accessories designer at the brand, was appointed as Frida Giannini’s successor in 2015, no-one could have predicted the all-encompassing effect his penchant for vintage kitsch and artisanal fantasy would have on the global fashion landscape.
Cementing his current position as one of the most influential voices in fashion, Michele quickly released a succession of instantly covetable bags, each one dripping with drama. A stand-out, the Dionysus is a sophisticated, structured style defined by an aged metal clasp tipped with two tiger heads – a nod to its namesake god, who would ride a chariot flanked by big cats.
8. The Gucci Sylvie
Another Michele hit, the more structured Sylvie presents Gucci’s saddle-inspired red and green racing stripes – a house signature since the 1950s – in a fresh new light. Smooth leather and chunky hardware lends contemporary appeal to this instantly iconic Gucci bag.