The Bamboo Bag, Gucci

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In the House of Gucci, the Bamboo bag is emblematic.

At the end of the 40s, the shortage of leather lead Guccio Gucci to use other materials like bamboo thus leading to a stroke of genius that will deeply mark the history of the Italian luxury brand.

The “sac Bamboo Gucci” was designed in 1947 at the core of Gucci’s Florentine workshops where fine leather craftsmen were using the expertise and the tools of coachbuilders to create exceptional handbags. Those brilliant artisans were working in the respect of the norms of excellence and exclusivity inherent to the Gucci brand.

Launched at a time when raw materials were rationed, the Original Gucci Bamboo bag was a small structured handbag made out of pigskin with a curved bamboo handle and lined with a small mirror hidden by 2 inner-pockets. On the outside, the bamboo cane handle and clasp give it its name and reputation.

In the 50’s and 60’s all it took to seduce the ladies, such as the British actress Vanessa Redgrave in Michelangelo Antonioni’s movie Blow-up, was an exotic look and feel with a splash of classic. Over time, the bamboo handle shape was constantly reinvented and finally evolved into one of the most iconic products of the House of Gucci.




The Gucci Bamboo Bag: Key Dates


1947 : The scarcity of raw materials after WWII forces the Gucci manufacture to experiment new components. Thanks to a patented technique, Gucci succeeds in working the bamboo imported from Japan to produce handles for its bags. The legend of the Bamboo bag is born. 

1954 : The Bamboo bag makes its first appearance in the movies thanks to Roberto Rossellini’s film “Journey to Italy”, where Ingrid Bergman is portrayed with the Gucci accessory inside the ruins of Pompei. One year before she has been photographed while privately wearing the Bamboo bag in Naples.

1958 : The Bamboo bag becomes a worldwide must thanks to the movie “A cat on a hot tin roof”, with Liz Taylor and Paul Newman. Taylor is photographed while wearing the Gucci accessory.

1964 : The future Queen of Belgium Paola of Liege is photographed while carrying a Bamboo bag.

1966 : Vanessa Redgrave wears the Bamboo bag during the shooting of Michelangelo Antonioni disruptive movie “Blow up”.

1991 : Princess Diana carries the Gucci Bamboo bag in Rome.

1999 : Tom Ford deeply revisits the traditional design and materials of the Bamboo bag introducing the concept of Bamboo chain bag.

2009 : The French first lady and former top model Carla Bruni is photographed carrying the Bamboo bag.

2010 : Gucci celebrates the myth of the Bamboo through the exhibition “Bamboo forever” and a limited edition.  

2010s : Legendary bag, new celebrities: the Bamboo bag put its spell on Madonna, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz and many others.

2011 : The new artistic director Frida Giannini celebrates the 90 years of Gucci by reworking through a capsule collection named “Firenze 1921” all the most iconic pieces of the brand. Among these, of course, the New Bamboo.

2012 : The bamboo concept expands in the field of timepieces with the Gucci Bamboo collection.

2012 : The New Bamboo line makes its official appearance on the catwalks for the Pre-fall 2013. For the first time it is made in printed leopard skin. The Bamboo shopper is also reworked.

2013 : The bamboo concept is expanded in the fields of eyewear, with the Bamboo sunglasses, and jewellery.

2013 : Charlotte Casiraghi is absolute protagonist of the “Forever Now” worldwide campaign, aimed to rejuvenate the brand and appeal young generations. Bamboo is again on the stage.

2014 : The Autumn/Winter collection displays a younger, more urban and aggressive version of Bamboo bag in karung and python leather.

2014 : Gucci launches a unique line of Bamboo high-heeled sandals

2015 : Bamboo becomes a perfume

2016 – 2017 : Alessandro Michele gives a new fancy twist to the New Bamboo through several limited editions and capsule collections, in line with the revolution he started.

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