Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vintage Gucci at Another Man's Treasure!

Regardless of trends and fads, a vintage Gucci handbag is always fashionable. One of the most prestigious and recognizable brands in the world, the enduring appeal of Gucci as a symbol of quality and luxury would probably come as no surprise to it's founder Guccio Gucci...

Vintage Gucci speedy bag with signature double 'G' logo and red/green stripe webbing

Like most of the European luxury brands, the gucci story starts with the most humble of beginnings. Born in Florence in 1881, Guccio Gucci was forced out of his home by his bankrupt and embittered father. He travelled to London and found work as a dishwasher at the Savoy Hotel. Working his way up at the Savoy, a hotel that was quickly becoming a notable gathering place for the upper classes, he absorbed the refined aesthetic of English nobility, and learned that the key to attracting wealthy customers was the perception of quality and exclusiveness. It was here that he
developed a fascination for the quality personalized leather luggage used by the guests, made by craftsmen from all over Europe.

A young Guccio Gucci (right) with his parents, early 1900's

After saving enough money, Gucci returned to his native Florence, and began to work for a firm specializing in handcrafted leather products. Able and amitious, he started his own leather company in the early 1920's primarily making saddlery and leather goods crafted by local artisans which he sold to the wealthy tourists that flocked to Florence.

Tuscan artisans hard at work for Gucci
Gucci's business and reputation grew over the coming years, and he opened his first retail location in Rome in 1938, attracting a sophisticated clientelle drawn to his equestrian inspired collection of exclusive leather bags, luggage, shoes & belts. The horsebit and stirrup motifs were created in this time, and endure as symbols of the Gucci fashion house to this day.

Under the fascist dictatorship of Mussolini, with tough sanctions imposed on Italy, it became increasingly difficult for Gucci to purchase all the leather needed for his products. Ever the innovator, he turned this apparent misfortune to his advantage, and began creating handbags and luggage of both canvas and leather that would become instantly popular, and forever Gucci. It was also during this time that the 'Bamboo Bag', a handbag with a bamboo handle was introduced, another iconic Gucci product still in production today.

1960's white Gucci leather purse with Bamboo and double 'G' clasp

In the early 1950's he developed the trademark green & red striped webbing, yet another equestrian inspired design, derived from the saddle girth. It remains to this day, and is one of the most familiar identifiers of the brand. Gucci began to grow into a globally recognized symbol of modern luxury, with stores in Rome, Milan and New York. When Guccio Gucci died in 1953, the company was passed onto his 4 sons, who continued to grow the brand whilst retaining the legendary craftmanship associated with the brand.

Cherished by the most iconic figures of the time, including Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Liz Taylor, the company grew from strength to strength. Jackie Kennedy famously carried the Gucci shoulder bag, which today is known simply as the 'Jackie O'. It was during the 1960's that the interlocking double 'G' logo was introduced. The house of Gucci was considered the pinnacle of chic and remained so throughout the 1960's and 1970's

Jackie O leaving the Gucci store....

...sporting the shoulder bag she made her own.

1960's red leather shoulder bag with double 'G' logo

1970's equestrian print dress in signature colors with green Gucci belt

Vintage green suede Gucci belt with equestrian buckle

After a slump in fortunes in the late 1980's and early 1990's, the company was triumphantly re-launched with American designer Tom Ford at the helm as creative director. Today, Gucci is the biggest selling Italian brand in the world with over 270 stores worldwide!
" The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory"
Aldo Gucci (Guccio's son)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vintage Halloween Costumes...

We just LOVE vintage costumes, surprise surprise! We've been picking up a lot of them on our travels recently, including a great set of 1920's/30's children's ones, which unfortunately sold before we had a chance to blog them, too bad. Sometimes though, we just can't part with things right away.... Here are a few creepy costumes we've hung on to that make for a timely Halloween themed post...

1950's 'F.A.O. Schwarz' pumpkin outfit with creepy pumpkin head mask!

1950's scarecrow costume with equally spooky mask!

We've been carrying this vintage street clown/performers outfit around for a few years now, the mask is particularly freaky. We found it at an antique market in this suitcase...

...along with all these cool vintage juggling pins, batons, hoops & balls, yo-yo's (with replacement string), grease face paints & brushes.

Vintage 'Stein's Make Up' grease paints, with equally vintage un-PC names!

1920's/30's 'Whoopie' circus costume with cool graphic!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

'Don' the Mad Men Look!

For the second installment of our 'Mad Men' post, we've put together a Don Draper-like outfit
that's sure to sweep the ladies of their feet...

A sleek 1960s 'Barneys' silver lightweight suit, white 1950s/60 'Manhattan' dress shirt, striped tie & tie clip.

A few simple period accessories could put a 1960s spin on any slim cut modern suit you already own, try adding a skinny tie, tie clip and fedora, all available at Another Man's Treasure ;)

A 1960s sharkskin raincoat completes the look!

Some other Mad Men era pieces currently in the store; Gray wool 3-button suit, Olive silk dinner jacket, Black satin trimmed tuxedo suit, stop by to see more!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get The Mad Men Look!

Up until now we haven't mentioned the words 'Mad' & 'Men' together on this blog, but resistance is futile when it comes to AMC's award winning show, and soon the whole world will be under its sartorial spell! Every man and woman, equally dashing and sexy in sleek sharkskin suits and slinky sheath dresses....well maybe not, but we can dream right?

Anyway, with the Season 4 finale rapidly approaching (boo hoo), and Halloween on the horizon (yay!), it's a pretty safe bet that a small army of Don, Betty & Joan clones will be hitting the streets in search of smoke filled, martini fuelled shenanigans over the next few weeks!

With that in mind, we bring you the first of TWO Mad Men themed posts to help you get in the mood and obtain the look. Of couse it's LADIES FIRST ...

Betty, Peggy & Joan in fabulous early 60's cocktail atire

1960s turquoise 3/4 sleeve wool sheath dress with satin buttons

1960s blue/green painterly wool long sleeved sheath dress

1960s short sleeved gray wool sheath dress with stripe

1960s olive lurex cocktail sheath dress with rhinestone pin

1950s/60s green satin sheath dress with full over-skirt

1950s/60s olive/black taffetta party dress

Accessorize a la this early 1960s Sears catalog spread, with leopard hat, pendant & multi chain necklaces, stilletto pumps, tapestry & leather handbags and matching gloves for an authentic period look.
Stop by the shop to see all the other great Mad Men era goodies we currently have in store!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Manhattan Vintage Show...Starts Today!

We have been busy preparing for the Manhattan Vintage Show for the past couple of weeks, and meant to post this yesterday...oh well, better late than never!
By the time this is posted, the show will have opened it's doors to the public. It's a beautiful New York Fall day, so why not stop by and check out all the wonderful vintage clothing and accessories on display at the Metropolitan Pavillion (125 West 18th St, 1-8pm & tomorrow 11am-6pm)...'The Collection That 100 Years Of Design Built', along with a great exhibit featuring vintage clothing used in the current HBO series 'Boardwalk Empire'!

In keeping with the 100 years of design tag, we will be bringing a sumptuous mix of early & fragile vintage treasures from the late 19th and early 20th Century, like the orange beaded 1920s flapper dress above, and over 300 interesting boutique and designer pieces spanning the 30's-80's including this Japanese designer denim jacket.

The racks in our warehouse space are loaded, displays are perfected, and we're all ready to transport our collection to NYC for two intense days of vintage shopping heaven....SEE YOU THERE!