Long before trend-bucking creative director Alessandro Michele brought his hallucinatory “Utopian Fantasy” campaign to Gucci, it was a modest Italian leather shop. Today, it’s an internationally renowned luxury house with an iconic logo, and vintage Gucci clothing, handbags and shoes are among high fashion's most covetable goods.
Guccio Gucci (1881–1953) admired the stylish suitcases he saw wealthy guests arrive with at the Savoy Hotel in London, where he worked as a bellhop. So, in 1921, after a stint at Franzi, a luggage company in his hometown of Florence, he opened a leather goods shop of his own.
At first, Gucci’s Florence business specialized in equestrian accessories. But as its reputation flourished, particularly among the English aristocracy, so too did its footprint. In 1938, he brought three of his sons — Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo — into the business and expanded it to Rome and later Milan. In the mid-1930s, a League of Nations embargo against Italy pushed Gucci to experiment with alternatives to imported leather. Its woven hemp fabric from Naples, adorned with the brand’s signature diamond print, was a hit, especially among A-list celebrities. The material was first used on suitcases before finding enduring popularity on handbags. (No list of revered designer purses would be complete without Gucci.)
In the 1950s, Elizabeth Taylor carried one of Gucci’s bamboo-handled tote bags, another adaptation to material rationing. After Jackie Kennedy was seen sporting a slouchy Gucci tote in 1961, it was renamed for the First Lady. Then Grace Kelly, on a visit to the boutique in Milan, inspired Rodolfo Gucci to work with Italian illustrator and Gucci textile designer Vittorio Accornero on the Flora print in 1966. Taking cues from Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera, with its pattern of flora and insects, it was painted entirely by hand and featured no fewer than 37 colors.
In 1953, just 15 days after opening his first store on New York’s 5th Avenue, Guccio passed away at 72. The early 1970s saw store openings in Tokyo and Hong Kong, but by the late 1980s, Gucci was floundering. Rodolfo Gucci took charge in 1982, but family drama and lawsuits ensued. In 1993, Rodolfo’s son, Maurizio, transferred his shares in the company to Investcorp, ending the family’s involvement in Gucci. Dawn Mello, then-president of Bergdorf Goodman, joined as creative director in 1989. But it was Tom Ford, who took over as creative director in 1994, who ultimately revived the brand.
Ford’s racy ads, shot by photographers such as Mario Testino, stirred controversy. And his potent vision of sexed-up femininity — with “jewel-toned satin shirts unbuttoned to there,” as Vogue described his breakthrough 1995 runway show — was wildly successful. The new millennium brought new ownership — Pinault Printemps Redoute in 2004 — and a more toned-down vision from Frida Giannini, who became sole creative director in 2006. Alessandro Michele was named creative director in 2015, and the storied brand took a giant leap forward.
Find vintage Gucci clothing and accessories on 1stDibs.
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Gucci fashion for sale on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Most of Gucci’s leather manufacturing happens in Italy. The brand is proud of the fact that it uses Italian leather and that their items are primarily made in Italy. Shop a collection of Gucci leather items from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- Where does Gucci get its fabric?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Gucci states that 95% of their manufacturers are based in Italy, but they have both internal facilities and facilities that are not managed by Gucci directly. The brand is proud of the fact that most of its items are primarily made in Italy. Shop a collection of Gucci items from some of the worlds top boutiques on 1stDibs
- 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021You can tell if a Gucci belt is real by looking at the sticker on the Gucci belt that contains a serial number and phrase “Made in Italy”. The serial number should be 21 digits long and will typically begin with the numbers 223 or 114. Many knockoff Gucci belts have serial numbers beginning with 1212.
- Are Gucci purses made in China?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, Gucci handbags are not made in China — according to Gucci, their purses are 100 percent made in Italy. If you see Gucci purses stamped “Made in China,” they’re not authentic. Find an assortment of vintage and contemporary Gucci bags from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- Can I polish Gucci belt buckles?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Yes, to polish your Gucci belt buckle, wipe the metal buckle down with a dry cloth and vinegar to dissolve the tarnish. Apply a small amount of metal polish to a cotton cloth, and rub for three to five minutes. Find Gucci belts and other accessories from the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- Do Gucci hoodies run big?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No. Gucci hoodies are known for running true to size. This makes ordering online simple, though if you prefer a roomier fit, you may want to order a size up. Shop a large selection of authentic Gucci hoodies and clothing on 1stDibs.
- Do Gucci shoes crease?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022It depends. If you take care of your Gucci shoes and don’t wear them daily, they’re less likely to crease. Some may find that Gucci shoes crease easily, while others don’t find it an issue. Find expertly vetted vintage and modern Gucci shoes on 1stDibs.
- Do Gucci polos run small?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, Gucci polo T-shirts fit true to size. However, Gucci is designed in Europe, which has different sizing standards than American clothes. Find your equivalent size, and it should fit as described. On 1stDibs, find a variety of authentic Gucci polos and t-shirts.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Gucci's 21-digit serial numbers can be found on its wallets, often blended into the material, so they’re not very easy to spot unless you’re looking. They are commonly found in the wallet's interior under one of the credit card slots. On 1stDibs, find a variety of vintage and modern Gucci wallets.
- What do I wear with Gucci mules?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022What to wear with Gucci mules really comes down to personal preference! Boasting an open back and a sleek design, you can dress Gucci mules up with tights or pair them with jeans for a laid-back look. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Gucci footwear from some of the world’s top sellers.
- Who makes Gucci shoes?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Gucci shoes are made by Gucci in Italy. Gucci takes pride in the fact that the majority of its items are made in Italy with Italian products, such as fine Italian leather. Find an assortment of authentic Gucci shoes from the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- Who designs Gucci?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022At Gucci, the creative director primarily designs the fashions and accessories. Alessandro Michele took on the role of creative director for Gucci in 2015. Previous Gucci creative directors include founder Guccio Gucci, Tom Ford and Frida Giannini. Shop a curated collection of Gucci apparel on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Gucci Marmont is a collection of handbags crafted with matelassé leather. Matelassé is the stitching technique that gives Marmont bags their classic padded look. You’ll find a variety of Gucci Marmont bags from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- What is Gucci ophidia?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Gucci Ophidia is a line of handbags from a collection that premiered in 2018. Primarily crafted from canvas, the iconic stripe and webbed design exudes vintage charm. You’ll find a variety of Gucci handbags from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertJanuary 4, 2022You can tell if a Gucci watch is real by looking at the back. An authentic Gucci watch will have a Gucci logo and model number on the back plate. Additionally, on the face, at the 6:00 position, it will say "Swiss Made." Shop a collection of Gucci watches from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The way you style Gucci Blooms slides is a matter of preference. Whether you pick out a pair of heeled or sandal slides, the floral print will enhance any outfit, and these backless shoes can be paired with jeans and a casual tee as often as they can with a short sleeve vintage day dress. Find a wide variety of Gucci Blooms slides on 1stDibs.
- How do I wear Gucci fur loafers?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022How to wear Gucci fur loafers comes down to a matter of preference. Loafers can be dressed up with tights or paired with jeans for a casual look. For extended product life, take special care to protect them from direct light, heat and rain. Shop a collection of Gucci loafers on 1stDibs.
- How do I protect Gucci canvas?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022To protect a Gucci canvas item, rake the surface with a toothbrush or small-bristled brush to remove dirt. For more heavily soiled canvas, spot clean the canvas with a sponge and soapy water by dabbing, not rubbing, the area. You’ll find a large collection of Gucci canvas items on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022How you wear a square Gucci scarf comes down to a matter of preference. The versatile design means you can secure it in a knot or simply wear it loose around your shoulders. Shop a collection of Gucci scarves from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- How do I spot a fake Gucci bag?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022To spot a fake Gucci bag, examine the interior tag. On a real Gucci bag, the registered trademark symbol appears at the top above the brand name and the words "made in Italy" are in lowercase letters. The back of the tag should display two sets of numbers arranged horizontally or vertically. In total, 10 to 13 numbers appear on real Gucci tags. Find a variety of expertly authenticated Gucci bags on 1stDibs.