The Most Iconic Gucci Bags in History
Princess Diana was seen. carrying this tote throughout the ’90s.
The House of Gucci can well be lauded for the many iconic bags it has created over the decades. And, in fact, many of the styles are either in reference to or a re-commission of the designs created in the 1950s or ’70s. The Creative Directors of the brand—from Tom Ford to Alessandro Michel and Frida Giannini—have revisited the rich archives of Gucci to reimagine House Codes for modern wearers, while always being true to the spirit of the Maison.
The Word. takes an account of some of Gucci’s most stylish, evergreen creations, and the stories behind each of them….
THE JACKIE 1961
Originally called the Fifties Constance, for it was designed in the 1950s, this iconic bag was renamed after the First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Kennedy, after she was clicked by the paparazzi shielding herself from them in 1970s. The bag is minimal and classic—even considered the first hobo bag. Jackie Kennedy took a liking to its design, and began to carry it everywhere with her. Years later, the bag was brought back to the runway by Tom Ford in 1994, during his stint as the Creative Director of the Maison.
THE DIANE TOTE
This rectangle tote with a bamboo handle was introduced in 1991. Around the same time, Princess Diana had separated from then-Prince Charles, and she began to switch up her style as against the stuffy royal codes. This bag became synonymous with Lady Diana’s personal need for freedom, and she began to be seen carrying this bag to a large number of formal and informal occasions throughout the ’90s…
The bag was finally christened after her in 2021, on the occasion of that would have been her 60th birthday. There were new versions added too, with bright green and orange straps around the handle, and shades like soft pink.
After Alessandro Michele took over as Gucci’s Creative Director in 2015, the maverick released the Dionysus the very next year as his first major bag design. This creation boasts two tiger heads at the end of a semi-circular clasp, taking inspiration from the Greek myth about the god of wine and celebration, Dionysus… According to the lore, Dionysus was sent a tiger by his father, Zeus, to cross the river Tigris. And the hardware of the bag lends itself to a mythical status.
THE QUEEN MARGARET
Gucci’s hardware closure of a metal bumblebee was first introduced in the 1970s, and has remained an enduring motif ever since. In fact, the bee has been an important motif for many of the family crests of nobility across Europe, and even Napoleon chose the bee as his personal, regal emblem.
The Gucci Queen Margaret bag, meanwhile, stands for modern royalty, marrying both old and new house codes in this carefully crafted bag.
Another bag that takes inspiration from the 1970s, the Blondie was launched at the Love Parade show in 2021. On the front is the interlocking GG emblem, that was first seen in the patent documents from 1971. Helmed by then Creative Director Alessandro Michele, this bag aimed to “traverse time”, and comes in a range of wearable, classic hues
After World War II, there emerged aa shortage of leather in the market. In an ingenious response to this, Gucci’s founder Guccio Gucci and his artisans replaced the handle in 1947 with a more workable solution—a bamboo handle. This precious material was imported from Japan for the “0633 bag”, as it was called after the model number. The bamboo was placed over a flame and moulded by hand to give it a curvature, then lacquered to give it shine.
In 2010, then Creative Director Frida Giannini brought this design back, and today, it is a widely recognised addition to a range of shapes in the Gucci family.
It was in 1953 that the idea of the Horsebit came to life on a pair of loafers—two rings joined by a bar, inspired by a bridle and Guccio Gucci’s long-standing equestrian history. The founder’s fascination for horse-riding fashion is said to have emerged from the days he worked as a porter at The Savoy in London, where he got to observe the most fashionable strut out in style.
Two years later, in 1955, the iconic hardware was added to a handbag, and for the Fall 2003 show, then-Creative Director Tom Ford gave it a bold reinterpretation—a large Horsebit hardware right in front of the bag. Then, in 2020, Alessandro Michele reissued the style, reduced the proportions, and brought the iconic motif back into popular imagination.
In 2014, then-Creative Director Frida Giannini released the Soho Disco—a boxy, camera-style bag with a tone-on-tone stitching of the GG interlocked logo. Intended as a crossbody, the Soho also features a tassel. The style has become a favourite for travel, for its size and ease to carry.
THE GG MARMONT
A year before Alessandro Michel took over as the Maison’s Creative Director, he redesigned the GG logo and placed it on a belt in 2014. And thus, the GG Marmont Belt was born, inspired by a buckle that Alessandro had chanced upon from the ’70s—this hardware, however, saw the two Gs facing the same direction, which is always the right. This logo was then added to a bag, the Marmont Bag, which also boasts a delightful heart embroidered on the back. The Marmont is now available in a variety of styles, from crossbodies to top handle and even bucket bags.
French for the word “hook”, the Attache is another design that finds its inspiration from the creations of the 1970s. For this bag, too, closes on the top like a hook or a half-moon (or a future cookie, perhaps?) from the top. Depending on how the bag is finally worn, it can be carried on the shoulder or across the body.