Luxury, as with everything else, has its levels. Luxury perfume and cosmetics are the entry level, according to both price and deliberate positioning by designer brands. Handbags and shoes are the next step up; they’re much more expensive, but still accessible because they’re durable goods that don’t require the wearer to maintain an adolescently slender frame. Beyond that is ready-to-wear, and eventually, haute couture. In my mind, despite its status as an accessory, items like the Gucci Leather Jewelry Briefcase fit in somewhere between ready-to-wear and haute couture.

This item isn’t made to order like couture, but it requires other trappings of extravagant wealth in order to be a reasonable acquisition. First, the buyer must have a venerable stash of jewelry and watches that requires such containment; you best believe that my mishmash of vintage costume jewelry doesn’t sit around in something like this. (Actually, it sits around in the box from the Balenciaga iPad case that my dear employers gifted me with last Christmas. Cardboard, but chic cardboard.)

Second, the buyer has to intend to travel with that stash of jewels and watches. Plenty of options are available for those who want to store their bijou at home, but for a piece like this, the intent is efficient storage during movement and while away from home. If you don’t jetset around the world and attend fabulous events that require such finery in many corners of the globe, then in all likelihood, you’ll buy another handbag or two for the price.

Then, of course, there’s the price itself. At $5,900, it costs more than an average Gucci handbag, and the leather exterior comes with an optionL diamond check cover in tonal velvet. It’s an accessory, but it’s beyond that – instead, a piece like this is the luxury lifestyle, distilled into a single jewelry case. Buy through Mr. Porter for $5900.

Anyone who’s had to get dressed and leave the house in the past month knows that choosing clothes and accessories when the seasons are shifting is tricky at best. Which colors are will work? Which textures? How do you make sure that the things you’re buying now will work both immediately and in the coming months? When looking for handbags, the best thing you can do is buy yourself a solid leather bag in a neutral or mid-range bold color and use it as a wardrobe staple into the coming season and beyond. Lucky for you (and all of us, really), the Gucci Cruise 2013 Collection, which includes the Gucci Soho and Gucci Sunshine handbag lines, just popped up on Gucci.com for your buying pleasure.

The Soho Collection includes everything from the fun, casual Disco Bag in a slew of leathers both bright and neutral, to several larger, more businesslike shoulder bags that would look great paired with either a suit or a T-shirt and jeans, depending on your plans for the day. The sleek Soho bags feature leather construction in classic shapes with the iconic Gucci interlocking-G logo embroidered on the front, while the Sunshine bags feature the brand’s Micro Guccissima monogram embossed on leather in a variety of fun colors. Check out our picks from the collection after the jump, or shop the whole Gucci Cruise 2013 collection (including a new chapter in the legendary Gucci Flora pattern) via Gucci.com. As an added bonus, Gucci will be offering free two-day shipping on all orders through October 19! Get it, ladies. (more…)

I’m about to use a word to describe the handbags from Gucci Spring 2013 that I genuinely have never associated with Gucci or its bags in the past: simple. For the candy-colored clutches and petite shoulder bags that Gucci sent down the runway in Milan on Friday, the brand’s iconic horsebit hardware was back and nearly everything else was gone. Shown in two versions, Gucci’s pared-down flap bags were a notable departure for a brand know for its large, sometimes aggressive handbags.

Gucci creative head Frida Giannini has always enjoyed turning our expectations of the brand on their heads, though, and that’s exactly what she did in a runway show full of monochrome and monotexture ensembles. The bags followed the lead of the clothes instead of making their own statement, and it’ll be interesting to see how this newfound restraint reverberates through the rest of Gucci’s accessory line come spring. Check out all the bags after the jump. (more…)

With New York City having been so recently overtaken by the glitz and glamour of New York Fashion Week, it seemed appropriate to spotlight a clutch that embodies the same kind of allure. My choice for this week’s show-stopping purse (drum roll please) is the Gucci Garcon Gold and Crocodile Clutch.

This clutch has everything you have ever dreamed: gold accents, a crocodile pouch and green Swarovski crystal decoration on the tassel and clasp. I mean, Swarovski crystal and crocodile finishing done on the same bag without it being too gaudy?! I’m basically drooling as I type. With a detachable gold chain, this clutch can be worn over the shoulder or in a cross-body style. Think the crocodile pouch is too much? No worries – it’s detachable, leaving you with a beautiful, all-gold clutch for a very special evening. (more…)

I spent last week in Florida for what was supposed to be a last hurrah of summer; the only problems with that plan were Tropical Storm Isaac and a wicked cold I brought from New York. What was supposed to be a week of fun in the sun ended up being a week of rest inside, but that meant more time with my family and more time to shop online. Before I left for Florida, I went to the Gucci NYC Flagship to check out their new stirrup collection and I was hooked. From the more structured options to the soft stirrup, there is something for everyone and every different lifestyle. While I ended up adding a new Gucci bag to my collection (post to come soon), there was another bag on my radar that I would have liked to add; the only problem was the price tag.

What isn’t a problem is the absolute beauty of the Gucci Soft Stirrup Bag in blue crocodile – a slight bit of slouch on an absolutely divine exotic is a magnificent pair. (more…)

Gucci is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The classic GG monogram is easy to spot no matter what piece it graces, but there is much more to the history of Gucci than just the logo. In 1921, Guccio Gucci started a leather goods company in Florence and within a few years, sophisticated shoppers were turning to the house of Gucci for their luxury goods. The horsebit icon, which is just as recognizable as the GG monogram, was an idea that stemmed from the many horse-riding aristocrats Guccio came to know in Italy. The brand continued to grow and expand to the massive and well-respected design house it is today, but now Gucci wants to turn back to its roots and share more of the company history by reflecting on the Gucci Icons.

While taking a stroll back through time to see the iconic items that make the brand what it is today, three iconic handbags stand out: the Stirrup, the New Bamboo, and the Jackie. Along with that, we have a gallery of imagery throughout Gucci’s history, from the early 1930s to today. (more…)

Everyone I know has been enjoying watching the Olympic Games. My twitter feed, which is typically filled with fashion world updates, has been non-stop overflowing with tweets about the different countries and their respective Olympians and I’m so happy to see it. Olympic Spirit binds us all in a special way.

Many of our favorite designers have jumped on the bandwagon as well, showing their spirit and support for their home countries. Now you should include Gucci on that list because they’ve recently released their GG Flag Collection, and while it coincides with the Olympic games, this collection also celebrates the launch of UNICEF’s “Schools for Asia” initiative. This program aims to provide access to quality education for disadvantaged children in China, and 25 percent of the price of each item sold will be donated to the program. (more…)

The spectre of Tom Ford still hangs heavily over Gucci, all these years after he left the label and well into the era of Frida Giannini’s success at the Italian house’s helm. Giannini’s brought with her a quieter, for feminine version of Gucci sex appeal, but my louche expectations are still largely intact, even when it comes to something as sexually neutral as handbags. The Ford accessories era at Gucci was characterized by heavily embellished horsebit bags, and even long after he left, the look endured in many ways.

Gucci’s accessories have been changing slowly since then, and Gucci Fall 2012 offers what may be the most distinct departure yet. Where small, showy bags and logo pieces had once been the brand’s primary stock and trade, this season brings with it a selection of large, neutral leather totes, all of which have almost no obvious external branding to speak of except for a sedate pieces of stirrup, horsebit or bamboo hardware here and there. Even the runway portion of the collection is relatively simple functional, if slightly more textured. Check out our favorites from the collection after the jump and let us know if you like the direction in which Gucci is headed. (more…)

Sometimes I forget about my love of Gucci. I get a little set in my ways and comfortable, much like a long relationship. But then something catches my eye and I every feeling of love I have for a brand comes back ten-fold. Gucci was on my long-time, back-burner love corner for a while, but most recently it has moved back to the forefront of my mind. From the absolutely stunning 1970′s bags, to this glamorous 1921 bag, Gucci is on a roll. (more…)

When we pick men’s bags to write about, we usually try to find things that will appeal to a wide audience. Men in general are newer to this whole bag thing than women are, and although some of you guys are incredibly advanced and toting travel Birkins like it’s your job, we think you’ll agree that it’s your slightly more stylistically challenged brethren who need our man bag guidance the most. For this Man Bag Monday, though, we’d like to offer you a few pieces that ought to appeal to the man bag veterans out there, and they’re all Gucci.

Gucci is among the few premier designer brands that’s willing to go out on a limb with its men’s accessories designs, both when it comes to color and detail. These designs aren’t for the dudes who are worried that someone might mistake their bag for a purse, but that’s what makes them great – they’re incredibly luxurious and highly detailed in a way that’s not at all self-conscious of what a man “should” carry. Ladies, I wouldn’t blame you for picking up one of these designs for yourself either. I’d happily own any of them. (more…)

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