Gucci is the premier Italian label. Like Chanel or Louis Vuitton over the Alps or [to a lesser extent] Burberry over the English Channel and even Ralph Lauren over the Atlantic, it’s a brand that has accomplished and sustains instant recognition and envy. With a ‘renaissance’ of its classics and a shift into post-gender and vintage-style pieces, it also dares to promote an ‘alternative’ runway look that is at the forefront of modern clothes design, reworking and upending accepted tropes and obvious concepts of beauty.
Sure, all this comes at a price. The issue with couture brands and increasingly with their accessory lines [an entry point for many] is one of value. Are Gucci bags worth the price? This is a question made more complicated by the replica market [why buy a leather Gucci bag when you can buy an ‘almost’ Gucci leather bag for 70% less], the competition [why a Gucci bag and not another brand?], the times [can £2,000 on a Gucci handbag really be justified right now?] and the aforementioned shift by Gucci and LV away from conventional beauty templates.
Rest assured fashion lovers, the answer to the £2000 question is still a resounding “YES”. Gucci bags are very much worth the price if you’ve got that kind of money to spend. Of course, you knew that already; the real question is why?
Let’s break the conundrum down by dispelling some myths about those fabulous but flawed fakes, an appraisal of the competition, a cost analysis and – most importantly –
A Look at The Designs Themselves
Firstly, the fake market is a booming industry. Bags of varying quality and price can be purchased easily online, and there has been a notable shift in recent years away from the kind of shoddy pieces that frequently fall apart in wet weather or when stressed.
Gucci is not immune to the fake market. It’s designer prices and iconic logos and colouring make it a brand susceptible to knock-offs and ‘seconds’ that have never seen the inside of an Italian factory. If you’re happy with a fake, go for it: if you just want a leather bag with a Gucci label on it then who’s to say you shouldn’t buy what you please? But two words of warning: the quality will not be up to scratch over the mid to long term, and the shape and design will be slightly derivative; it won’t ‘look’ quite right.
So why a Gucci bag anyway?
The answer to that question relates more to where Gucci is right now. Whilst the horse-bit or GG logo and green/red strap were sufficient gauges of trendiness up to and through the early 00s, the game has more recently changed so that fashion must be a response to youth/social media led shifts in thinking.
Gucci [and – as previously mentioned – LV] has pre-eminently risen to that challenge: Designs that still feature the logos and colours, but that branch off into interesting, decadent riffs with tan/earthy tones and into Gucci’s experiments with the psychedelic/cute in pieces that retain that sober formality.
Sure, £1,000+ is a lot to spend on a bag. But the price is relative to the kind of bag you’re buying. Go for superior workmanship [we’re thinking shape and sturdiness] and designs that will last the distance. Select an accessory that is clearly, genuinely Gucci. The Dionysus GC Supreme Super Mini Bag has a lengthy name, but is a little number that hits all the right notes in terms of branding and its ability to straddle the formal/informal line.
The Ophidia Floral Large Shoulder Bag is all about the Gucci love of the ‘stately home garden’ aesthetic, but there’s subtle danger here too in the serpentine name and the exotic/subtropic nature of those flowers. Finally, the GG Marmont Medium Shoulder bag goes padded and gold for a much copied, never bettered Gucci handbags look.
Generally, run cross-current when you’re matching accessories with clothing items via a Gucci route. Gucci style is not anti-fashion and is not as obvious or outlandish as other Italian stables but demands a more nuanced understanding of style than simply matching two or three colours and textures.
This is another reason a Gucci bag is worth the price: if you want to put a little extra work in, you’ll transition from a stylish brand warrior into something greater and more sophisticated that is harder to pin down. Worth any price.
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