Gucci Zumi top handle handbag

Meet the punk musician who has inspired Gucci’s latest handbag

28 March 2019

Zumi Rosow for Gucci Spring Summer 2019 carrying the Gucci Zumi bag

There’s a new Gucci handbag in town and this one, like its predecessors, is destined to become a best-seller.

Towards the end of February, a striking woman sat front row alongside Lou Doillon and St Vincent at Gucci’s autumn/winter 2019 show in Milan. She wore jet black exaggerated eyeliner and an asymmetric fringe, and paired with her two-piece embroidered Gucci suit, coral pink silk shirt and layers of jewellery, she was a mysterious and welcome addition to Gucci’s front row.

Little did we know she was in fact creative director Alessandro Michele’s latest muse; punk musician and jewellery designer Zumi Rosow — and the inspiration behind the newest addition of the Gucci accessories family: the Gucci ‘Zumi’, a ladylike top-handle bag set to become a modern classic.

Zumi, in fact, had already been spotted toting the bag — although we may not have realised at the time she was the namesake behind it. Walking the runway during the Gucci spring/summer 2019 show in Paris (see picture above), Zumi carried the bag that was about to become very, very famous.

At first glance the Black Lips and Crush musician may seem an unlikely fashion muse for a luxury brand, but not so Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. Well known for his individualistic ideas of beauty, Michele hand picks the muses and collaborators who join his “tribe” based on their personality, their talent and their attitude — and unconventional is more often than not the recurring theme.

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Zumi told Vogue she would describe her aesthetic as “part Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess, part bat, vampire, Zarina, a leather daddy, Joan of Arc, the Wild Child . . .”; so the demure and conventional Gucci Zumi bag is a rather surprising and delightful outcome; its simplicity and elegance in stark contrast to the real-life rocker meets modern-day Cleopatra—apparently, a “kind of in-joke” between the pair.

Gucci Zumi medium top handle handbag

The Gucci Zumi leather medium top handle bag, available from Gucci.com

While many other Gucci bag designs in recent seasons have been resplendent with their jewel-toned velvets, sparkling rhinestones or technicolour florals, the Gucci Zumi is a lesson in refined elegance with its top-handle shape and dressy colour palette, making it not only a stylish choice for 2019, but also a practical addition to your accessories catalogue long-term.

Michele has delved into the archives and resurrected two historical Gucci motifs — the interlocking ‘GG’ and horsebit hardware — to create a contemporary classic in an impressive and rare gold-and-silver colour combination.

The top-handle version is available in medium and small sizes, which also have detachable leather shoulder straps, and are available in variety of leathers, precious skins (python and elaphe), ostrich and crocodile. There is also a chain strap shoulder bag version, seen on the likes of Salma Hayek and Lou Doillon at the recent autumn/winter 19 Gucci show, which can be worn a multitude of ways (the chain strap can be detached, enabling it to be carried by the adjustable leather top handle as a clutch); plus a variety of small leather goods, including wallets, pouches and card cases.

And if you thought the playful Michele touch was missing, the collection also comes in a cartoon strawberry print which takes the fun level from 0 to 100 really quick…


To see more from the Gucci Zumi campaign and shop the collection, keep scrolling below.

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