Are Gucci Bags Well Made?

Are Gucci Bags Well Made?


Gucci bags are exceptionally good. You’d expect no less when paying upward of £600 for your purchase. But the question, “Are they well made?” is really one of comparison; like deciding whether to buy a Lamborghini or Ferrari, the question is not actually if they’re any good, but rather why is one better than the other for YOU?

 

An explanation of Gucci’s unique proposition can come from the materials used. To put it bluntly, Gucci thinks different: Founder Guccio Gucci was made to ponder ‘outside the box’ regarding materials in the 1930s due to a war-related trade embargo.

 

This led to his introduction of alternates like canvas, raffia, and bamboo that – coincidentally – consolidated the image of Gucci as the exotic choice for well-travelled rich folk. Some things never change then, although the Western Europeans Gucci hope will catch the Florentine bug now include aspirational millennials with a taste for athleisure, the arcane and constant change. Those attracted to the legacy and the more conservative side of expensive style will now include more Eastern European and Asian customers. Both groups appreciate style and quality.     

 

 

Materials Used

Those unusual materials like bamboo and canvas have been re-introduced partly as a way to honour the legacy [a buzzword amongst powerful younger designers attempting to make changes without rocking the boat], and partly because they work so well – the GG Diana features canvas, high grade leather and a bamboo top handle [that bamboo handle is perhaps – off the record – the true mark of a 21st century Gucci imparato].  

 

The Gucci Horsebit bag features canvas again and the famous green and red fabric strap, while the beige Ophidia Snakeskin Bag has a myriad of materials including the eponymous reptile, viscose and that strap also.

 

In terms of leather, Gucci is renowned for the 2006 introduction of Guccissima – top grade Italian leather that is removed from the outer most part of the animal and is therefore the most durable. Leather types vary to suite the product and can include calf, pig, or lambskin as well as lizard.

 

Obviously, the treatment of animals in the leather production supply chain has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, and rightly so. Gucci’s parent company Kering is actively pushing a sustainability mandate that includes raising animal welfare standards.

 

Expect to see more sustainable materials and leather alternatives enter the production process as demand increases and quality/durability improves. Even so leather goods [rather more than fur coats] are a fashion addiction few luxury customers can resist, partly owing to the craftsmanship inherent in manufacturing as well as how good fine leather looks   

 

 

Design

From a design point of view, Gucci generally [although certainly not exclusively] prefers the formal box shape construction that you might also associate with Prada, although Gucci intentionally sidesteps the overt technicality/machine-cut vibe that gives Prada an edge.

 

Instead they accentuate both complexity of construction and the harmonizing of multiple materials [as mentioned, this could include leather, canvas, fabric and bamboo] or – with predominantly leather pieces – the pure quality of the piece complemented only with metal chain and maybe a bold label [The Jackie Kennedy bag in black leather being a prime example].

 

The Gucci GG Marmont is perhaps the exception to the boxy rule. Gucci’s most famous and ubiquitous creation, it has the kind of plush and rounded edges reminiscent of the more ostentatious Italian brands and a centre-centric logo that is clearly positioned to catch the eye of airport and window shoppers.

 

The Louis Vuitton Wave Chain Bag is an almost identical item, so both brands are clearly onto something. Handle bag variants also see Gucci lean more overtly into the slightly abnormal. The GG Marmont Small Top Handle is a stroke away from the shoulder strap variety with strains of antiquity and [intentional] esotericism.

 

Design is a double-edged sword these days, with quality time and money invested into a process that sees the black market reproduce women’s bags  that are almost identical versions of big sellers for a fraction of the price. Here’s where luxury brands must come to lean more heavily into collaborations, pop ups and promotions to circumnavigate the tricky waters of customer fealty.

 

  

The appropriately named Hacker Project teams Gucci with fellow Kering bedfellows and postmodern provocateurs Balenciaga. At their best, these offerings provide sharp focused reassessments of both brands’ core components, whilst helping to keep any actual hackers busy until its way too late. There are bags too. Knife-edge quadrilateral shapes like the Hour Glass bag that is more Gucci in the design, more Balenciaga in the branding. Elsewhere, The North Face and Adidas add outdoor and sporty pragmatics to Gucci luxury.

  

Craftmanship

Build quality is undeniably second-to-none. With bags that are created with an instance on regular experimentation and the marriage of abstruse materials, Gucci are confident that you’ll appreciate and trust in them to remain a preeminent wardrobe item for many years to come.

 

After all, due to Gucci’s tendency towards the friendlier face of anti-fashion [androgyny, a-historicity and sober-sensuality all feature in the Gucci rulebook; summer collections frequently run through a heroine induced haze] these are not necessarily bags that will hold their retail value in the same way that the more conservative efforts of Chanel or Hermes will.

 

Then again you won’t be re-selling a Gucci. Instead, re-imagining and repurposing are part of the 21st century Gucci aesthetic – everyone is into sustainability – so you’ll be looking for ways to work your bag with updated wardrobe items for many years to come.

 

This is where the concept of craftsmanship aims to win out against fast fashion and fakers. Good craftsmanship – measured stitching, sturdy hardware, rigid curing, dying, templating and construction methods all completed by experts who are getting paid to do their job well – shows through in the final product and present you with an item that will go round the block [and up the avenue] without going stale. Luxury labels are wagering their long-term future against this. 

 

 

Quality

Quality then is an absolute given. That means stitching, leather [and other materials], overall construction and ‘poise’ [the way the bag sits], colouring [even and rich], metal parts [chain and studs] are all perfectly placed and not given to excess wear and tear.

Once again, for a label that makes a name – indeed an empire – out of experimentation, the foundations better be damned secure. Artistic director Alessandro Michele commented on Gucci’s 2022 A/W Ready to Wear collection in Milan that both gender fluidity and ‘re-imagining’ ourselves in front of [fun house?] mirrors was part of the Gucci way.

 

Bags are in abundance in that collection too [including an Adidas for Gucci dark green tote eccentricity that could’ve come straight from the set of a Wes Anderson film]. The point again – if you’re going to sail further from the shore, you better be equipped and safe to do so: quality materials, the underpinning of fashion experimentation. Gucci items: a great accompaniment for the journey.    



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