Gucci’s Bamboo Tote Is a Tribute to Princess Diana

High-profile celebrities often influence fashion trends for everything from perfumes, makeup lines, clothing, and more. While the Kardashian-Jenner sisters are among today’s top trendsetters, once upon a time, there was a fairy tale princess that became a muse for the House of Gucci.

First appearing in 1991 carrying the bamboo tote, Princess Diana quickly adopted the bag as one of her favorite accessories. Often seen carrying the purse, creating a high demand for the product, Gucci renamed it the “Diana bag.”

Princess Diana sitting on stone steps
Diana, Princess of Wales | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Last year, more than 20 years later, the designer reintroduced the iconic bag with several slight changes, and it quickly became a must-have accessory among the Hollywood elite.

Princess Diana had a huge influence on pop culture

The Princess of Wales, who was lovingly referred to as the “People’s Princess,” had worldwide appeal. She managed to capture the hearts of millions with her humanitarian spirit and anti-establishment nature.

Televisions around the world tuned into her wedding to Prince Charles at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981. Before a controversial divorce in 1996, she gave birth to her sons, William and Harry.

In 1997, Princess Diana tragically died in a Paris car crash. Her legacy remains through countless books, movies, and documentaries about her life. Kristen Stewart most recently gave an accurate portrayal of the princess’ life in the film Spencer.

According to The Independent, Diana is still a pop-culture icon among people that were not even alive yet when she met her demise. Social media has kept her memory alive, with countless fans praising the princess as a champion of causes who was unafraid to break tradition.

The Diana bag

In 1947 designer Alessandro Michele created a bamboo handbag for the House of Gucci. Introduced to the Princess of Wales in 1991, it became a favorite part of her wardrobe. The classic accessory, frequently spotted in photos of the princess, rapidly grew in popularity.

L’Officiel claims, “As the princess further distanced herself from the royal family, Princess Diana became bolder with her fashion choices while forgoing royal dress codes.”

Last year, Michele reimagined the bamboo handle tote for Gucci. It is now available in three sizes and seven color options, featuring removable, neon leather belts that, according to the Gucci website, are “a nod to the functional bands that once came with the original bag to maintain the shape of the handles.”

The Diana Collection ranges in price from $2,950 to $4,500, dependent upon the size of the bag, color choice, and pattern. Diana totes with a python skin exterior can retail for as much as $7,700.

Vogue claims the changes to the Diana bag are symbolic of “the brand’s mission to promote self-expression through its products.” When the reinvented Gucci Diana bag first appeared on the runway last year, it was carried by a model with pink hair carrying a pet rabbit. The new tote represents “the cycle of reinvention and being free to be who you are – something the original poster girl for the brand would no doubt support.”

InStyle reported Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning, and Jodie Turner-Smith were the first celebrities to get their hands on the newly invented Diana Bag from Gucci.

The Lady Dior handbag

Gucci is not the only fashion house to create a bag that pays homage to the royal style influencer. Dior also has a handbag inspired by Princess Diana that they call the Lady Dior.

In 1995, the unreleased bag was presented to the princess by the First Lady of France. Dior claims, “the accessory quickly became one of Lady Diana’s go-to pieces, and she wore it during all of her outings, going as far as requesting a navy blue version to match her eyes.”

Over the years, the iconic bag has experienced an “extraordinary destiny,” reinvented with new sizes, colors, and materials. It retails between $3,950 and $5,300.

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