Davika Hoorne at Gucci Cruise 2025 gucci bags
Davika Hoorne at Gucci Cruise 2025

Gucci bags: The complete buyer’s guide

16 May 2024 | |By Hitanshi Kamdar

From the Jackie to the Marmont, dive into Gucci’s most iconic bags

Earlier this week, Gucci showcased its Cruise 2025 collection at the Tate Modern. Creative director Sabato de Sarno meant for the show to be a love letter to London’s endless creative spirit but, while de Sarno was inspired by his multiple personal visits to the capital, the brand’s London connections run much deeper. It was in London’s Savoy hotel that founder Guccio Gucci first dreamed up his brand. Working as a bellboy in the late 1800s, handling luggage at the ritzy hotel proved to be the spark for his own line of leather bags and travel goods, which eventually launched on Florence’s Via della Vigna Nuova in 1921.

Gucci’s first foray into the handbag hall of fame came in 1947 with a bamboo-handled design that remains a house signature to this day. The small, structured purse was sported by actress Ingrid Bergman in the 1954 film Viaggio In Italia, making it an instant hit with the Hollywood set. Fans of the brand’s bags have since included style icons from Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy Onassis to Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Harry Styles.

Given that bags were the building block of the heritage Italian house, it’s no surprise that Gucci handbags continue to be among the brand’s most popular products. In 2023, leather goods made up 53 per cent of the company’s revenue, according to parent company Kering, with sales driven by hero products such as the Jackie handbag.

From the classics, such as the Attache and the Bamboo, to Alessandro Michele’s more recent and flamboyant Marmont and Dionysus, Gucci handbags continue to be among the most covetable designer goods. On the resale market, Gucci consistently remains among the top ten most sold bag brands on Vestiaire Collective. “At eBay, Gucci is a fixed feature in the top ten most searched luxury brands and in the top five for most sold luxury handbag brands,” says Emma Hamilton, head of handbags at eBay UK. “Whether it’s high or low-price points, the brand interest has been incredibly strong. The demand for men’s bags has also been on the rise with sales increasing eight per cent year-on-year – the Gucci Messenger is particularly highly searched for. Not far behind in searches is the brand staple Marmont bag followed by the Jackie bag.”

Why are Gucci handbags so popular?

Ubiquitous GG logo and status symbol aside, Gucci handbags offer distinct design signatures and high quality craftsmanship, meaning they’re likely to last you a lifetime. Rooted in the Italian label’s versatile design language, the bags on offer appeal to every aesthetic and preference. From shoulder bags and crossbody bags to roomy hobos, there’s a Gucci bag for every occasion.

A Gucci handbag can also prove a worthy investment piece. While the style of the bags means they’re versatile and will blend seamlessly into your wardrobe, they also hold their value, even though they might not give as high a return as brands such as Chanel or Hermès. “Gucci bags perform well on the secondary market and are popular with buyers,” says Meg Randell, head of Bonhams designer handbags and fashion. “There are a wide variety of Gucci designs, but generally the classic pieces such as the Bamboo or Jackie bags perform the best on the secondary market. Typically, Gucci bags fetch around 20-50 per cent of their retail price.”

How to care for a Gucci handbag

Like most luxury handbags, a Gucci creation is primed to become a treasured heirloom, provided you take care of it. A well-tended bag will also be a better investment in the long term. “Classic designs or limited-edition pieces in good condition typically achieve more favourable resale prices,” says Hamilton. “The top three factors that affect resale value are condition, both internally and externally, along with rarity on the primary market and reputation of the brand.”

The first rule for looking after your Gucci handbag is avoiding exposure to direct light, heat, humidity and rain. You should also clean leather bags with a soft, dry cloth after each use. Leather straps can be rolled up or left down, while bamboo handles should be protected with the plastic bands provided to maintain its shape. It’s also recommended that you store every piece in its dust bag.

The most iconic Gucci handbags

The Gucci Bamboo 1947

Despite being completely logo-free, Gucci’s bamboo handle bag is instantly identifiable. In the late 1940s, post-World War II, Italy experienced an acute leather shortage. Driven to explore other materials, Guccio Gucci experimented with bamboo, heating it into a curved top handle with a patented technique of hand manipulation and lacquering that is still used today. The original, with its small saddle-style silhouette, was popularised by Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly, and in its current iteration remains loyal to the original with its structured shape, bamboo handle and bamboo turnlock closure. The Bamboo was given the tote bag treatment in the 1990s – a version so popular with Princess Diana that it was reissued as the Gucci Diana by Alessandro Michele in 2021.

Available in an array of sizes and materials, including leather and canvas, the bag counts A-listers such as Harry Styles and Alexa Chung as fans. Current creative director Sabato de Sarno presented the classic in his new signature Ancora red for SS24 while it remains a top performer at auction, according to Randell, “Recently the mini cross-body Gucci bamboo 1947 version has been performing particularly well as it fits the current vogue for small bags.”

Gucci Bamboo 1947 medium top handle bag

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Gucci Diana mini tote bag

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The Gucci Jackie

Chic first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis has long served as fashion inspiration so it's hardly surprising that a bag named after her has outlived passing trends since the 1960s. Originally released as the Constance, the crescent-shaped hobo bag with its signature piston lock was renamed after Kennedy Onassis was seen sporting it in paparazzi pictures. Every Gucci creative director since has been enamoured with the silhouette, adding slight tweaks to the classic design. Tom Ford replaced the piston lock with a geometric buckle while Frida Giannini brought it back in a slouchier version. Michele re-issued the bag in its most faithful iteration in 2020 while it is now available in mini, small and medium sizes. From candy coloured leather and GG supreme canvas to embroidered velvet and raffia options, there’s a timeless Jackie for every taste.

Gucci Jackie small shoulder bag

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Gucci Jackie small denim shoulder bag

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Gucci Horsebit 1955

Equine motifs have never gone out of style, but with cowboy fashion trending in 2024, the Gucci Horsebit is more relevant than ever. First introduced in 1953, Gucci’s miniature take on a horse bridle has graced numerous accessories, most notably its loafers, with the hardware finding its way on to a structured box bag two years later. The top-handle bag was revived by Michele in the brand’s cruise 2020 collection and now comes in numerous shapes – tote, shoulder, and crossbody – all bearing the signature equine-inspired double ring and bar hardware. 

Gucci 1955 Horsebit shoulder bag

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Gucci Horsebit 1955 micro crossbody bag

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The Dionysus

Alessandro Michele’s first bag for the house, the Dionysus takes inspiration from the Greek god of wine and revelry and is distinguished by its unique horseshoe-shaped hardware featuring two tiger heads. The original bag was released in the brand’s famed monogram canvas with a contrasting trim but, through the years, has been reimagined in multiple leather shades, printed variations, embroidered options and even exotic leathers including crocodile and python. Pick between small, medium, mini and super mini sizes to add a statement flourish to every look.

Dionysus small shoulder bag

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GG Supreme Dionysus mini crossbody bag

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The Gucci Blondie

Michele’s experimentation with archival designs birthed another instant classic: the Gucci Blondie. Introduced during the Love Parade anniversary show in Los Angeles in 2022, the flap bag features curved lines and is characterised by the interlocking G logo that can be traced back to patent documents filed by the house in 1971. The understated bag comes with removable strap options – a leather strap, a web trim strap and a chain strap – and now spans multiple sizes, colours and materials. For Cruise 2025, Sabato de Sarno has rendered the elegant design in his signature seductive red leather, a monochrome iteration, blue suede, and the iconic GG canvas.

Gucci Blondie mini shoulder bag

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Gucci Blondie leather camera bag

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Gucci Horsebit Chain

A Y2K It-bag if there ever was one, Gucci’s Horsebit Chain supersizes the aforementioned horsebit hardware on a trapezoidal clutch with a chain strap. Introduced as part of the AW03 collection during the transformative Tom Ford era, the mini bag was first presented in black and off-white before being offered in bright colours, patterns, textures and the classic double G logo canvas. And while we love the original designs, getting your hands on one requires a thorough sweep of resale sites. Luckily, Gucci reissued the classic style for AW23 in variations including crystal-studded, cosy shearling, metallic and padded leather. Newer Horsebit Chains also come with interchangeable chain and leather straps.

Gucci Horsebit Chain medium shoulder bag

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Gucci Horsebit Chain small shoulder bag

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Gucci Marmont

Early social media influencer feeds of the mid-2000s were populated by two bags: the Dior Saddle bag and the Gucci Marmont. Introduced in 2016, the Gucci Marmont was first released as a crossbody bag with a puffed chevron pattern, chain strap and double GG logo hardware. An instant classic, the elegant bag has since been crafted in smooth leather, velvet and canvas in neutral and deep jewel tones, while you can also find iterations studded in gemstones and pearls. The versatile chevron pattern has also found its way on to totes and bucket bags, meaning no matter what your style is, there’s a Gucci Marmont for you.

GG Marmont super mini shoulder bag

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Gucci Marmont mini shoulder bag

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The Gucci Attache

A reprisal of a design from the ‘70s, the Gucci Attache handbag has had the style set hooked since its 2020 debut. The soft half moon-shaped bag’s ends can be clipped together with a G-shaped clasp to open and close the soft, roomy bag’s silhouette. Each Attache is also detailed with a contrast signature web trim in either red and green or yellow and orange, signifying the timelessness of Gucci’s archival designs. The bag can be worn on the shoulder or across the body thanks to its interchangeable straps and is offered in numerous sizes and fabrics. including leather, canvas and suede.

Gucci Attache leather-trimmed canvas shoulder bag

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Gucci Attache shoulder bag

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