Gucci bags are at the steeper end of the luxury bag price range. Expect to pay upwards of at least £600 for a standard Gucci crossbody bag or clutch and then upwards to – and even way beyond – £1,000 territory for larger and more luxurious Gucci Handbags.
This is not an insufficient amount of money to spend on a bag but is not incomparable with other luxury women’s bags like YSL or Chanel.
The question remains, why are Gucci bags so expensive? It can seem hard to justify this kind of expenditure on what is – let’s face it - an accessory. Certainly, as your critical friends may insist, part of the price comes from the association with that all important logo [in Gucci’s case that tends to be the GG interlocking bit [named after founder Guccio Gucci], the Medusa head logo, the green and red elasticated strap or any one of a combination of these].
Of course, your friends will argue that cheaper fakes offer you virtually the same level of street credibility for a fraction of the price. But fakes [and the best ones are not cheap either these days] are eventually straightforward to differentiate from the real thing [in terms of weighting, durability, and quality of materials]. The real thing – as costly as it may be – is worth the extra money.
Materials used in the crafting
Another factor – and one that is easily overlooked by either those who’ll settle for fakes or for a moderately less expensive brand like Coach or Michael Kors or even high street brands – is the materials. Pigskin, calfskin, and other exotic leathers are renowned for their softness of touch and strength, as well as their ability to maintain their shape and colour over many years of service, but for this you must – again – pay the price
Even if matelassé leather means nothing to you [it’s a stitching technique] then it’s obvious that a great deal of skill and craftsmanship goes into producing a Gucci bag. Firstly that 100% Italian-made tab comes with a markup owing to higher labour costs in Europe [compared to, say, India and Asia where many high street accessories are produced], and you can expect the Gucci artisans to be experts at designing, curing, dying, templating, cutting, moulding, and stitching.
Leather – even the finest variety – doesn’t easily lend itself to a curt box shape or smart open hold-all, and only the finest craftsmanship ensures it forms the shape and style you can love and will stay there. That’s another factor that is recognisable in fake versions: they tend to be bulkier and baggier looking and will not hold up as well to years of wear and tear.
Crossbody bags are an excellent statement purchase, and their versatility comes from being able to carry them over the shoulder or – more practically – across the body. Prices will start from £700 depending on colour. The Gucci Interlocked GG Crossbody Bag in Brown is a good entry point – subdued and classical in colour and comportment, it ticks the essential Gucci boxes in terms of shape, and the horse-bit GG logo is not overstated, but is stated enough. Crossbody Bags can sometimes come across as trying too hard: their position across the body emphasizes the logo; something that premium or high street brands may be keen to accentuate, but a less than decadent price here gives you status and standing without the ostentation.
Similar thing, different colour: the Gucci Interlocked GG Crossbody Bag in Black offers a business-minded approach to crossbody etiquette. Black really emphasizes the box-like shape of the design as it’s colouring stands out against natural backdrops, and this also brings the pebbled finish and silver hardware [mirrored in the bags tendency to shine white] to the fore.
The irony is that – despite a monochrome finish and that simple GG logo – this is a very versatile bag indeed. Casually it’ll sit pretty and tough above a pair of Doctor Martens and a long summer skirt or denim, and will easily transfer to the classic Gucci dress and blazer setup.
Retailing around the £1,000 mark, another reason your money is well spent is in the ability of bag to fulfill many roles, depending on your mood and the invitation. The Gucci Interlocked GG Large Crossbody Bag in Beige doesn’t quite return to the conservative frontage of the smaller variant. Instead think white, open breasted suits and seventies headbands or head-to-toe brand/doll attire.
Gucci shoulder bags are where the fun really begins. Let’s start by differentiating between cross body bags [which can be worn well as straight shoulder bags too] and the classical definition of a shoulder, which can rise a little higher on a shorter chain and may be slimmer or more squat-like in shape.
Meeting halfway is the Gucci Soho Disco Crossbody Bag Brown with Tassel. This retails upward of the £900. You are first and foremost paying for the quality of the materials and the ubiquitous horse-bit logo, here embossed into the leather for a less imposing result. The tassel rings a casual tune: flared denim or loose-fitting floral shirt bring in the spring and summer changes. The Gucci Soho Disco Crossbody Bag Black with Tassel switches the look again for around the same outlay.
Question – should you buy two bag that are identical by design but that differ in colour? While it may not seem like the most creative way to spend a total of nearly £2,000, there are great reasons why you should do just that: a bag is – regardless of the price and design – an accessory, meaning that its ultimate purpose is to carry things but – in a design sense – to flatter and consolidate your clothing items. Assuming your clothes sense is well-regulated [i.e., you have an established ‘look’] then having two bags in contrasting colours is a good way to bring out the best in your formal and casual collection whilst knowing that your bag won’t ruin the show. The forementioned Disco Crossbody has the same design as the beige variety, but what a different result – dress up dinner or drinks at the bar are made special with your denim or sequinned skirt to go.
The Gucci Soho Disco Leather Wallet on Chain Crossbody Black takes matters to their uncompromising conclusion and – at a relatively affordable £650 plus – is the classiest of this line. Deep black and muted metal chain catch the eye, whilst the diminutive size paradoxically draws you closer.
It’s small enough to clutch through any Soho and disco driven night out. A more traditional clutch, the strapless GG Marmont is the ideal accompaniment for black dress attire. For the same minimal vibe with a more relaxed outlook, Gucci belt bags offer practicality and verve enough for a fun day out, but still – in canvas or leather – don’t expect prices much below £600.
Generally, branded totes are oversized and simplified takes on the shopping bag in leather or canvas – something like the Ophidia GG fits the bill. The Gucci Soho Disco Tote Bag is more of an upscale and relaxed handbag than a tote: you won’t fit a lot of groceries inside but the soho/disco moniker undoubtedly fits, with multiple internal lined compartments making this the perfect whole-day companion. At over £1,500 you’ll certainly expect more bag for your buck, and in terms of presence and volume you get it, with black on this occasion neither being too formal nor overbearing.
A Gucci bag to suit your every need should be within easy reach, even if that means more than one purchase. Yes, you’ll expect to pay more than you would for a premium [Michael Kors or Coach] bag, and you’re moving way beyond mortal high street territory. But in return you’ll be rewarded with first class [generally finest leather] materials, expert Italian craftsmanship, cutting edge designs, and a logo that stands head and shoulders above the crowd and that puts you in the mix with the finest fashion crowd.