Move over Lady Dior bag, there are two other Princess Diana-inspired bags that are just as popular and nostalgic. Today we’re going to explore the Gucci Diana Bamboo Tote and the Chanel Diana Shoulder Bag, and while these bags look quite different, they were both loved by Princess Diana.
GUCCI DIANA BAMBOO HANDLE TOTE BAG
Gucci bags with bamboo handles were initially launched in 1947 when the Italian economy was struggling due to the war and the Gucci family was forced to experiment with alternative materials to cut costs. Gucci artisans developed a method of heating and bending bamboo canes to create strong, rigid handles which were then coated in multiple layers of lacquer for a shiny finish. Due to the process, none of the Gucci handles are the same. Gucci patented this method and all bamboo handles to date are still handcrafted.
Fast forward to 1991 when Princess Diana’s must-have Gucci tote was first introduced to the fashion world. It became a hit after she was pictured in her workout clothes toting it to and from the Chelsea Harbour Gym and became a part of her signature style. The original Diana bag was known as the Gucci Bamboo Handle Tote due to the two bamboo handles, and it also featured two interior pockets, a snap-top closure, protective feet and leather lining. Since then, there have been many iterations in a multitude of materials, colors and styles.
In 2022, Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele, reimagined and reinvented the bag. As a nod to Princess Diana, it is called the Gucci Diana bag. This update comes in three different sizes (mini, small and medium) and features removable, contrasting leather belts (which is a nod to the functional bands that came with the original bag to keep the shape of the handles) and it’s available in many colors and luxurious materials like crocodile, ostrich, leather, python and lizard.
CHANEL DIANA BAG
Karl Lagerfeld was always looking for inspiration for his designs, and he was especially focused on finding the next fashionable ‘IT’ girl as his muse. In the 80s and 90s, Princess Diana of Wales was the ultimate style icon and had a huge influence on Lagerfeld and the legacy of Chanel.
Introduced in 1989, and in production until 1995, the Diana Flap Bag is a core classic of the brand and a highly coveted vintage bag today. This timeless, single strap design is reminiscent of the Chanel Single Flap bag, and features a retractable, chain-link shoulder strap, CC turn-lock flap closure, internal zip and slip pocket and leather lining. It’s most often spotted in black diamond-quilted lambskin with border trim, but it was also produced in grained caviar calfskin, canvas, patent leather and even satin—and in a handful of colors and a color-blocked option too.
Princess Diana was photographed carrying this bag so often that Lagerfeld decided to name it after her, causing it to become a fashion favorite amongst Lady Di lovers and Chanel collectors all over the world. In 1996, she was spotted wearing the bag shortly after finalizing her divorce from Prince Charles. She then declared she’d never wear Chanel again because the logo reminded her of the initials of Charles and Camilla.
The bag was reintroduced to the fashion world in 2015 as the Diana bag, but today the vintage Chanel Diana bag in textural caviar leather is one of the hottest and most sought-after bags on the secondhand market.
Content and images for this blog post have been referenced from LePrix.