Luxury-industry insiders and moguls met for the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit 2013 in Vienna, Austria, over the past few days, and lots of interesting tidbits of information came out of the event’s who’s-who list of speakers, which included luminaries like Alexis Babeau, Managing Director of Luxury at Kering, and Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory and Helmut Lang (and a huge investor in Proenza Schouler, among others). For our purposes, perhaps the the most interesting speaker was Gucci President and CEO Patrizio di Marco, who spoke at length about his brand’s commitment to social consciousness, which included a promise to stop using environment-polluting PVC in its products in the next three years. (more…)

There are a lot of things to admire about Gucci, but today, the thing that strikes me most is the brand’s commitment to interesting hardware. Horse bits, stirrups, bamboo – the Gucci has made a legacy of adorning its bags with interesting signature metal work. For Gucci Fall 2013, the go-to piece seems to be a big, bold, rectangular buckle that’s being referred to as the Gucci Lady Buckle and is often paired with striking jaguar print. (Which simply looks like leopard to me, but sure, we’ll go with Gucci’s story on which big cat it is.)

If that look’s a bit too bold for you, you can also get the elements independently on a black leather version of the Gucci Lady Buckle Tote or a jaguar-print bamboo bag. As always, other brand staples are plentiful in the collection – lush python, logo hardware and Guccissima prints. Check out our favorites from the off-the-runway collection below or shop the full selection via Neiman Marcus!

For the past few seasons, Frida Giannini, Creative Director of Gucci, has brought the house back to the forefront of our minds. With a steely yet sexy combination, Gucci Fall 2013 focuses on constructed silhouettes with femme fatale touches on every accessory. The color scheme is deep and sultry, including wine, rust, moss green and cerulean blue. With great attention paid to detail, the accessories steal the show (along with the evening wear).

Shiny calfskin and exotic skins, including python and crocodile, create structured bags with archival locks which give a retro hint. Many know Gucci for its iconic bamboo handle, and this detail comes back in two styles and proportions as a focus for fall. This collection is strong, and I expect to continue seeing Gucci step up, which means more of us will be stepping up to purchase as well. Shop Gucci online. (more…)

I feel like I’ve delivered the “spring is coming” message a lot over the past six weeks, and although I’m sure I sound like a broken record, this winter weather has gone on so long that I feel as though I’m repeating as much to convince myself that it’s true as to talk about spring fashion. As I write this, it’s 45 degrees in early April and I’m about to set out toward warmer climates for a bit of a vacation, but to make it this far, I’ve had to completely give myself over to the delusion (it certainly feels like a delusion) that one day, the Gucci Leather and Raffia Holdall will indeed be a weather-appropriate choice for a weekend beach trip someplace local.

Wouldn’t that be the best? Leave work early on a summer Friday to head out on a road trip with a well-appointed gent who’s hauling your bathing suits and flip-flops in a raffia keepall that looks so much more luxurious than raffia generally is. If you or your dude are the kind of people who change your weekender and travel bags with the season (lucky you), then a dark but still summer-textured option like this one is perfect; it won’t show wear like a more common light raffia, but it’s still got the feel of a tropical vacation, particularly with the tanned leather accents. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1,950.

Lately, my relationship with and love for Gucci has been growing. The brand has always been on my mind and has always been iconic, but there has been a recent resurgence that brought back the house classics with a current twist and I, for one, could not be happier. I recently reviewed my Lady Stirrup bag, and now I’ve got nothing but love for the Gucci Horsebit Shoulder Bags.

I’ve spent the past few weeks playing with two versions of this bag, one in vibrant blue patent leather while the other in grey animalier karung-printed leather. The blue version immediately lures you in, but I find it a bit hard to keep clean and smudge-free, while the animalier karung printed option has my whole heart. These bags are beautifully designed, with a longer shoulder strap and plenty of room on the interior, but the exterior is what continues to make me smile. The leather is thick and durable while feeling ultimately luxurious.

As the weather begins to warm up, I find myself drawn towards lighter and easier-to-carry bags that won’t weigh me down, and these Gucci shoulder bags fit the bill. There are tons of different options available, and the addition of a great everyday shoulder bag will immediately update your accessory wardrobe. The best part of the whole thing (after the impeccable easy design)? The price. The blue patent leather version is $890 via Gucci, while the karung-printed version is $1,150 via Gucci.

You want one now too, don’t you?!

In the accessories world, Gucci has some of the best-known and most unique signature details. Horsebits, stirrups, the famous Flora print, the green-and-red webbed stripe – there are a lot of non-logo ways that you can immediately tell you’re looking at a Gucci bag. Perhaps the most recognizably bit of Gucci regalia, though, is bamboo. Introduced in 1947, the famed bamboo handle is getting a thoroughly modern upgrade in matte black for Gucci Fall 2013..

A bit of the traditional brown (plus a bit of the bag’s color) still peeks through in this new, modern bamboo, but the feeling is a tad more youthful, with just a bit of edge. Gone are the coordinating bamboo closures with which we’ve become accustomed in the past five years; instead, these bags boast sleek pushlocks against a host of exotics both dark and colorful. Gucci’s had great success with snakeskin accessories in particular in the past couple seasons, and I’m glad to see the brand stick with it; you’d be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful python bag anywhere.

[Photos via Vogue]

They’re here, they’re here, they’re finally here! Gucci Spring 2013 handbags, that is. I’ve been waiting for this collection to drop since it debuted on the runway last fall, and that day has finally come. Lucky for me, the bags are just as bright, fresh and modern as they felt way back in September.

Most of the bags fall under what Gucci has dubbed the Bright Bit collection, which includes ultra-streamlined clutches, shoulder bags and totes in, you guessed it, bright colors. They’re all topped off with the brand’s signature horse bit accent, which makes the designs a strong blend of both modernism and Gucci-flavored traditionalism. It’s a hard line to walk, but these bags accomplish the feat quite well. Spring also includes a colorful update to the Gucci Stirrup line, which is a welcome development. Take a look at our favorites from spring below or shop all the Gucci new arrivals at Neiman Marcus.

I’ve owed you all a Purseonals for quite some time, and although it’s been a while, I think this particular Purseonal is worth the wait. I fell in love with Gucci all over again this fall and winter, so much so that my current go-to bag is my Gucci Lady Stirrup Top Handle Bag. Finished in the perfect burgundy hue, this bag combines a structured ladylike design with touches of classic Gucci that are familiar and well-loved. At lunch recently, someone asked me what my favorite bag is at the moment; I must say it’s this Gucci bag. So let me get into the details for you all!

Here is how my Gucci Lady Stirrup Top Handle Bag scores in our PurseBlog Purseonals ratings:

It’s true, I love Gucci. I always have. When I was in college, one of my first major purchases came down to Gucci and Fendi, and even though I went with the Fendi Spy bag at the time, Gucci still holds a special place in my heart. I’ve followed the brand closely over the years, and recently, its handbags have wowed me more than I can even explain. The bag that has my eye today is the beautiful Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag, a classic available in a variety of shades but I have my sights set on the light blue.

With bag prices continuing to skyrocket, finding a well-priced option has proved more and more difficult. I’m always looking for luxurious everyday bags, and that’s what Gucci provides with this particular piece. I’m actually pleasantly shocked at the price – $1,290 for a very spacious, functional design in leather. The long chain shoulder strap gives a chic touch along with its practicality, and the leather body speaks for itself. Against chilly winter days and spring blossoms, this bag will take you from season to season at a great price. Buy via Gucci for $1,290.

Lately I’ve been feeling more and more like a Gucci girl. I have a new bag from the brand (review to come soon!), and it reinvigorated my love for the brand in so many ways. As much as the GG monogram bags are still popular, the classics are what draws me in. Lately, Gucci has been knocking it out of the park.

Recently I found myself lost in the Internet world and wandered upon a site called Rich Kids of Instagram, and it is just as vain and ridiculous as you would imagine. And you know what, I found myself lost looking at photos of all these kids and what their lives are like. Private jets, mansions, custom cars and shopping like it’s going out of style – that’s precisely what their Instagram photos are filled with. Of course, the whole thing is entirely showy and gaudy, but there were definitely some photos that had me tinge with jealousy and longing, mostly for a private jet ride to my beautiful second, third, and fourth homes.

When that day comes, I plan to go in style, and that means having the perfect travel bag that is both luxurious and spacious. Right when I laid my eyes on this Gucci Goldmark Crocodile Bag, I knew in my dream world I would love to have it. There’s a simplicity about this bag that speaks to me, with stunning antique gold hardware against the black crocodile skin. The dimensions are large enough for it to be a work bag or travel bag while not being overly cumbersome. I find beauty in this design and it continues to speak to me (oh, and the outfit on the model, very New York City chic).

When I knock myself out of my imaginary world and back to my world, I remember to tell you all that there are other versions of this bag at a much more affordable price, around $2100 via Gucci. But the version I am lusting after is $27,000 via Gucci.

Follow Closely