Gucci Boston Canvas Duffle, $960 via Net-a-Porter

I’m sure that we’re do for a revival of the logo bag any season now. Fashion’s like that; the trends you hate always come back around more quickly than the ones for which you feel genuine nostalgia. Some brands still do a very brisk business in their logo bags; Louis Vuitton has always been at the top of that list, but Gucci isn’t far behind. And while it surely makes the company a ton of money and is important for branding purposes, logos have just never been my cup of tea.

But that’s why I’m such a big fan of the Gucci Boston Canvas Duffle and bags like it. Gucci occasionally uses this jacquard diamond-check canvas in place of the brand’s normal logo fabric, and it is such an improvement in my eyes. This bag looks stately and classic without the unnecessary Gs, and that’s exactly the appeal of the non-logo logo.

A non-logo logo can come in many forms. A Balenciaga motorcycle bag’s signature hardware counts, as does the hand-painted pattern of Goyard’s coated canvas bags. What doesn’t count? Any type of monogram or symbol that’s widely used as the company’s principle brand identifier. The Louis Vuitton “LV” is out, as is the Versace Medusa head. Choosing a secondary identifier helps reign in the ostentatious quality of a logo bag and gives the end result a more subtle effect, which is exactly why this Gucci bag seems staid and dignified in a British heritage sort of way rather than flashy and obvious like a logo bag.

And that’s not to say that flashy and obvious is an objectively bad thing – I love both flashy and obvious, and in the right moment, even I sometimes love it in a logo bag. But for a piece that you want to carry regularly and for a long time, I’d choose something like this bag over a more obvious logo. It still retains the recognizability among handbag lovers, it just does so in a slightly more indirect way. Whoever said that discretion is the greater part of valor was right, even when it comes to accessories. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $960.

  • Lulugurl

    I love the idea of the unlogo-ed bag, but this one isn’t doing it for me.. :\

  • Alexis

    i love non-logo logo bags . Logo bags seam cheap to me and a trend. Example LV logo bags. Everybody has them and the end effect makes them seem cheap. I really love Gucci’s non logo pattern and this bag is on my list.

  • gpc

    I have never bought a “logo’d” bag and never will. This bag is actually quite striking, in a good way. I, for one, would not have know it was Gucci at first glance. It seems like it would make a great everyday, go with everything bag.

    P.S. Amanda, this may not be the place for this comment, but the crazy 80′s metal big hair picture of Kathy from RHNJ is staring me in the face as I write this post and it is scaring me. Can PurseBlog remove that picture immediately :)

  • 19yearslater

    Huh. I would think that if this diamond check count so would the Medusa head. What about Burberry plaid? I think of logo bags as LV. Coach signature, Gucci G, etc. Letters and names only.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      Personally, I draw the line at the primary things that are used in company branding toward the public – the things that appear on the shopping bags, in the ads, etc. For instance, I’d count the LV monogram but not the Damier print, because the monogram is the first thing associated with the brand and used as one of its primary visual representations. Damier, like this check pattern, is more secondary. Whereas Burberry uses its check as its primary brand identifier in place of a monogram, so I wouldn’t count it as a non-logo logo. Versace, on the other hand, uses the Medusa head in place of a monogram instead of a pattern of some sort.

      It’s a somewhat arbitrary designation, but logos, by definition, aren’t just letters. They can be anything.

      • lisafire

        Actually, in 1888, the Damier pattern came first, before the monogram one. Although most people associate the LV monogram as original, it came after the Damier in 1896 and was actually introduced by Vuitton’s son, Georges.

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

        Damier may have chronologically been first, but the way things stand now, the monogram bags are the real face of the company.

  • Sandra Rowley

    What head over heels bags lover does not own a mongram canvas Louis Vuitton bag in their collection?? I certainly do, and it is my go to bag when I am on vacation because I do not have to worry that I will damage it. This Gucci bag is exactly that bag…the one you can carry all over and look stylish, and when you get home the bag will still look terrific.

  • MizzJ

    Though I agree the logo bags are easily overplayed, they are kind of a part of any handbag collection. I see them as “starter” bags for if you can only afford a taste of these otherwise unattainable brands. I’d never seen this print before for Gucci and love the unlogo look, though hopefully they’ll limit its use or it will become just as known as a regular G

    http://highmaintenancewoman.blogspot.com

  • Brynn

    @Sandra Rowley – I am a “head over heels bag lover” and I do not own a monogram piece. They are, in my opinion, very overrated and frankly tacky. As for this particular Gucci bag, I’m not a fan mostly because I don’t care for the signature Web in the center of the bag.

    Amanda – would you mind clarifying your view on the Burberry Nova Check. Also, would you consider the Bottega Intrrecciato a “non-logo logo” as it appears in almost all of their bags?

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I think the Burberry check is a logo, and the Bottega intrecciato leather is not. Although I think a compelling argument could be made that it is, I don’t think it’s distinct enough from other brands’ woven leathers to constitute a logo in and of itself.

  • rose60610

    I enjoy my logo bags and my non-logo bags. They all have their place. Somehow I think some of the LV-phobes could be Chanel-philes and don’t mind the ol’ double C. Isn’t that a logo? As for Versace, their demitasse cups with the little wing handles are simply divine! I’ll slap that little logo on my table anytime, but I digress.

    • Seejayluvsbags

      Exactly. Somewhere, there’s a logo lover in all of us. Perhaps the most visible logos aren’t up to par but honestly it begins to sound a tad snobbish & I wasn’t aware that aristocrats dwelled among us.

  • ABCD for Michelle

    Thank you so much for writing this post. I really detest the overly logoed bags. It’s not that I don’t like how they look, but I think it usually shows that a person doesn’t really love the brand, but just wants to show off. I’m really happy that my bag collection never overly screams the brand. My Louis is the Damier print, I don’t have the atypical Burberry print, etc. The Gucci Gs, though, ugh, that is an instance where it actually is unattractive. They look incredibly cheap somehow. I love love love this duffle, though!

  • neesa

    i think i’ve found a gucci bag that i like, love2 that the bag looks androygynous

  • Chelsea

    I know how everyone says logos are flashy, cheap, etc. But the thing is, there are people who simply like the design of a certain logo. I for one like the Tory Burch logo. When I choose accessories with big Tory Burch logos, it’s not because I want people to recognize the brand, it’s just because I like that design. I think the logo itself is pretty. Similarly, some people might like Versace’s Merdusa logo because they think it’s pretty (even though I find it a little scary).

    • Brynn

      I agree with you Chelsea! I’m the same way about the Tory Burch logo and the Burberry Nova Check! Both are visually appealing in my opinion! I don’t think those would count as monograms!

  • Grace

    I personally like bags that don’t have big logos and lean towards Ferragamos. I found a couple other understated Gucci duffles and outfits for those interested: http://www.polyvore.com/gucci_duffles/collection?id=985964

  • Graciella

    I’ve never cared for either logo bags or Gucci bags, but this one really appeals to me. It has a certain vintage feel that I really like.

  • EDOARDO

    i AGREE WITH ALL YOU’VE WRITTEN AND THE CONCEPT OF NON-LOGO BAGS IS SOMETHING ABOUT I WAS THINKING SOME MONTHS AGO. BY THE WAY IT’S TRUE THAT BALENCIAGA’S BAGS, WANG’S ONES, CHLOè’S ONES… EXPLAIN PERFECTLY THIS CONCEPT BUT THIS MODEL OF GUCCI FOR ME IS JUST AN UGLY AND SAD BAG!

    http://fashiondoesntexist.blogspot.com/

  • lisafire

    I have the Gucci Boston bag in leather with the original gucci red and green stripe logo. It lacks the canvas look which makes it even more special. Just my opinion. And the leather of the bag is luggage color which adds a richness and durability to the bag. And no logos.

  • lisafire

    Check out the Vintage Web Medium Boston bag. That is the one I am referring to.

  • Marry Lynn

    nope looks fake

  • Amanda

    I love logo bags. I love Louis Vuitton bags.

    • Nee

      I like logo bags too! and have an LV mono. I don’t think owning one makes me cheap or tacky, i happen to own many other LV, Coach and Chanel. It all comes down to individual taste, and unless someone is physically paying for my bag – their opinions are just – opinion, and mean very little to anyone other than themselves.

      that being said, i dont like this Gucci at all.

  • weaslgrl

    I almost consider the stripes to be a non-logo logo, too. They are very Gucci, though usually done in red/green.

  • Lolitasays

    It’s all right.

  • KellyX

    It’s really not that pretty

  • suz

    This bag is fabulous and totally classy. Love it!

  • mochababe73

    For the record, I am not cheap. I am not tacky. I am not trying to show-off because if a bag is not functional, I’m not carrying it no matter what name is on the label.
    I do like a logo bag. There’s nothing wrong with carrying one. I own some Coach in plain leather and some with the logo fabric. I have a Juicy Couture Daydreamer and a plain leather Juicy. I also own an LV pouchette. Now, I am picky about what labels that I wear, but I could care less about whether or not the label shows.

  • SMSNY

    I just purchased this bag in the larger size ($995), which is significantly bigger than the $35 differential between the two sizes would suggest. It is really gorgeous in person, and in fact, was in the “featured case” at the Gucci store. It is striking, very chic and I am thrilled to start using it!

  • jrl

    Where I am from (small town) everyone is covered MK’s. I think it is disgusting. But I do like the polo pony canvas bag from RL for shlepping stuff.

  • jrl

    Also, meant to say there covered in C’s too.

  • snopake

    want it!