The bamboo-handled bag was developed in a
Gucci backroom in Florence
in 1947 by craftsmen who were charged to muster all their powers of innovation
to think their way around war-time shortages – yet still make objects that met
the Gucci standards of desirable exclusivity. Shoots of Bamboo which could
still be imported from Japan,
were softened by a flame and curved into a distinctive ‘u’ shape. Once it was
articulated and attached to the bag by four metal loops (using the least amount
of the precious commodity possible, in the on-site forge), the bamboo handle
instantly became a piece of design history.
Over the decades, the bamboo went beyond
its origins as a pragmatic solution and became a device used on generations of
new bag shapes, gradually transforming itself into a Gucci visual code.
Bamboo-inspired patterning has featured on a variety of products – from
umbrella handles to headscarves, watchstraps and jewellery, and has even been
carved cleverly into a pair of golden stiletto heels. Frida Giannini has even
reinvented the iconic original handbag with her own ultra modern version, “The
Along with the horsebit, the
green-red-green web stripe, the diamante and flora patterns and the GG – the
bamboo is a Gucci icon and part of the House’s incredible heritage that proves
savvy design will never be out of style.