One of the many things Italians have always excelled at is taking a difficult situation and turning it into an occasion for incredible creativity.  The Gucci bamboo bag was born in the post-war period, in 1947  to be exact.  The moment was perfect for innovation because, at that point it had become so difficult for the Gucci fashion house in Florence to find raw materials.  Bamboo was one material that could still be imported from Japan, so Gucci decided to shape it into a curved handle and attach it to the body of a purse using 4 metal rings.

 

Bamboo bag | Gucci

 

 

Over the years the bamboo handle has become an icon of the Gucci brand, as recognizable as the interlinked “G” logo and the green and red grosgrain ribbon that adorns many of the designer’s products.  The bamboo-handle bag was even  reinvented by Frida Giannini, current art director of Gucci in the New Bamboo Bag. It has been worn by stars like Ingrid Bergman and Vanessa Redgrave and it is a timeless symbol of elegance.

 

Gucci Bamboo Bag

Carla Bruni with the Gucci Bamboo Bag

 

While it has often been imitated and copied, these imposter versions have not made the bag any less elegant, but instead have heightened the bag’s fame as an absolute classic in the wardrobe of Italian women.

This bag is not just a bag, it is also a symbol of a certain way to carry a bag: the stance which was absolutely natural for a generation of our grandmothers, partially refused by the generation of our mothers and now completely back in style among the girls who walk the streets of the most fashionable luxury districts in the world – propping the bag at waist level delicately balanced on your wrist while your hand relaxes in an elegantly aloof nonchalance.

 

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