Gucci and Balenciaga are two of the biggest luxury brands in the fashion world, but how do the two compare? We’ve analyzed a Gucci vs Balenciaga to find out!
Gucci and Balenciaga are both beloved historic fashion houses that belong to the luxury conglomerate Kering. The long histories of these brands have influenced the contemporary designs to create some incredible, avant-garde ready-to-wear clothing, handbag, and accessories collections.
Also, there has been a recent collaboration between Gucci and Balenciaga, named the Hacker Project, which was wildly popular as you would expect from the combination of two of the biggest street-style fashion houses.
Of course, you can buy a piece of the Hacker Project for that perfect combination of these two labels, however, if you are going for other items from the brands, trying to decide between the two can be a challenge. That’s why we’re to help – this article covers both brands’ histories, the differences between them, and top items from each brand before coming to a decision on Gucci vs Balenciaga.
gucci vs balenciaga
The history of Gucci
This staple brand of Milan Fashion Week is a historic Italian fashion brand after it was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci. Gucci first began making luxury bags and luggage for the wealthiest in Italian society, before adding shoes, knitwear, and silk goods to the collection.
When World War Two hit, Gucci was no longer able to use leather in the production of their bags and luggage, and so the Gucci coated canvas was born. This canvas featured the now iconic GG monogram as well as the red and green stripe that features on many Gucci products.
Post-World War Two, Gucci found mainstream success as it became popular amongst Hollywood stars, and added eyewear and jewelry to its accessories collection.
After a rocky period in the 1970s and 80s, the house of Gucci was reinvented by Tom Ford in the 1990s, bringing opulence and extravagance back to the brand.
The luxury house saw another reinvention in 2014 when Alessandro Michele became the creative director. Michele combined his geek-chic aesthetic with an element of old Hollywood glamour from the Gucci archives to create a brand that has reached the top spot of the Lyst index of most-searched-for brands.
Under Michele, Gucci has also collaborated with some of the top fashion brands to create luxury fashion collections that have broken social media – collaborations have included Balenciaga and The North Face. A favorite among celebrities, you will often see Jared Leto, Harry Styles, and Lana Del Ray on red carpets or at the Met Gala in New York dressed in Gucci.
The History of Balenciaga
The luxury fashion house, Balenciaga, was founded in 1919 by Cristóbal Balenciaga in Spain, although the label moved to Paris in 1937 in order to show his collections at Paris Fashion Week. Cristóbal Balenciaga was a highly influential and innovative couturier who was named ‘the master of us all’ by Christian Dior.
Balenciaga very quickly found success after moving to Paris and catching the eye of Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar. The high fashion collections created by Balenciaga were so popular that fashion enthusiasts risked traveling to Europe in World War Two in order to see the fashion shows.
During the late 1940s and into the 1950s, the genius of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s designs was fully realized as he created several cutting edge pieces that have remained highly influential in contemporary fashion still to this day.
As he moved away from the narrow waist silhouette of the New Look, popularised by Dior, Balenciaga created the spherical balloon jacket in 1953, the tunic dress in 1955, and the high-waisted baby doll dress and sack dress in 1957 for the first time.
Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his fashion house in 1968, and it lay dormant until 1986. After it was bought by new owners, Michel Goma, Josephus Thimister and Nicolas Ghesquière were creative directors between the years of 1987 and 2012.
In 2012, Demna Gvasalia became the creative director and reinvigorated the brand with a new lease of life. It has quickly become one of the most popular brands, with Kim Kardashian often featuring in the fashion labels campaigns.
Differences between Gucci Vs Balenciaga
There are key differences between these hottest brands that you need to be aware of in order to help you make a decision between the two.
1. Price Range
The difference in the price range of these two brands is significant. If we take a look at handbags, for example, we can see that Gucci handbags range from $790 up to $7,700, depending on the size and materials used.However, there are also some exotic leather bags that are sold for up to $36,000.
Balenciaga, on the other hand, collection of bags ranges from $675 to $5,500 – the brand’s most affordable bag is a similar price to Gucci’s mini bags, but the most expensive Balenciaga bags are nowhere near the top prices of Gucci bags. If you are looking for a little more variety and a little more luxury, then Gucci is the brand to head for.
With this said, the most popular bags from each brand, including the Houglass bag from Balenciaga and the Marmont and Dionysus from Gucci, retail for very similar prices at around $2,000-$3,000,
If we take a look at the shoes, Gucci’s price point for shoes ranges between $360 and $4,900, while Balenciaga shoes are on offer for between $325 and $1,950.
Again, shoes from both brands start at the same sort of price, but there are much more expensive shoes available from Gucci. Often this will be down to the cutting edge designs and unique materials that are used.
There are some similarities in the materials used by Gucci and Balenciaga. Both luxury houses use predominantly leather, for Balenciaga this will often be calf leather, sometimes embossed with a croc-effect print or a more luxurious aesthetic.
Gucci bags are usually made from calf leather or lambskin leather, although some expensive bags are made from crocodile, python, anaconda, and lizard leather. Both fashion houses also offer certain styles of handbags in cotton canvas or coated canvas – which can be a little more durable and less high maintenance.
In terms of where these bags are made and the craftsmanship involved, they are pretty similar. Most of the time, Balenciaga bags are made in Italy, with top-quality Italian leather, while some of the cheaper models of Balenciaga bags are made in China.
Gucci, as a historic Italian brand, prides itself on all its handbags being made in Italy with high-quality Italian craftsmanship. In fact, many of the handbags are made in a town called Prato, just outside of Florence, where the Gucci headquarters are based.
our top picks from gucci Vs balenciaga
Both of these luxury brands are known for their luxury collections of handbags, shoes, accessories, and ready-to-wear collections that you will have seen in the pages of your favorite fashion magazine or Instagram pages. We’ve selected just a few favorite items from Gucci and Balenciaga that we think you’ll love.
1. small bags
Gucci and Balenciaga both offer incredible shoulder bags that you really need to see!
The Marmont bag is one of Gucci’s best selling bags that we just had to include in this list – it’s a classic bag that has truly become an iconic piece. Bought into the Gucci bag collection by creative director Alessandro Michele, the Marmont has a structured shape that is complemented by a double G logo on the front. Available in 11 different colors and multiple different sizes, you are guaranteed to find a version that suits you.
The Balenciaga Hourglass is a rather new addition to the Balenciaga collection that has become the brand’s bestseller. The silhouette of this bag has a uique curvilinear shape that is absolutely gorgeous and totally individual.
The Balenciaga logo in gold decorated the glossy croc-effect leather of this handbag for an eternally stylish finish. If you are after a striking new shoulder bag, this is definitely the one to go for.
Both Gucci and Balenciaga have their own iconic sneakers that you really need to get your hands on.
Firstly, the Gucci Ace sneakers are a wardrobe staple. You may have seen these everywhere on Instagram or stylish shoppers who already have their hands on these incredible shoes.
The combination of white leather and the red and green stripe, which now features a gold embroidered bee, is quintessentially Gucci. These sneakers now have a cult following, so if you’re into trends, you really need to add a pair to your collection.
Next, how can we talk about Balenciaga without mentioning the brand’s famous sock sneakers? Worn by fashion-forward celebrities worldwide, these legendary sock sneakers are a bestseller for Balenciaga.
The chunky rubber soles are contrasted with the knitted sock body of the shoe, which are of course printed with the Balenciaga logo. If you are looking to add a completely unique and unusual pair of sneakers to your wardrobe, these are definitely the ones you should buy.
3. Tote bags
Tote bags are staples in any wardrobe and Gucci and Balenciaga have some stunning tote bags in completely different styles.
The Gucci Ophidia canvas tote is an absolute classic for the modern working woman. Made from the GG supreme coated canvas and trimmed with supple brown leather, the spacious tote is totally practical and stylish with the red and green web stripe and Gucci logo hardware. The durable materials also mean this Ophidia tote will be your go-to bag for years to come.
The Balenciaga City bags are an iconic style for the brand; first introduced by Nicolas Ghesquière in 2001, the City bag has remained a crucial part of the bag collection ever since.
This edition of the City bag comes in crinkled lambskin leather to accentuate the relaxed feel of this handbag. Aged silver studs and buckles decorate the bag, as well as an exterior zip pocket and rolled leather top handles.
4. the hacker project
If you want a little bit of both brands, then the Hacker Project Gucci x Balenciaga collaboration is just what you need in your life. Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia has worked with Gucci’s Alessandro Michele to create clothing bags and shoes for you to choose from – here are just two of the stunning handbags.
In this first instance, the Balenciaga Ville handbag has been recreated in Gucci’s GG supreme canvas. The front of the bag has been printed with the Balenciaga logo in stark white letters to create a surprising juxtaposition between Gucci and Balenciaga. But you better be quick, because this bag is a limited edition.
Balenciaga’s famous Hourglass bag has been reimagined in the iconic Gucci colors of red and green. This small leather bag perfectly explores the idea of authenticity in the fashion industry that Michele and Gvasalia set out to delve into through this project.
The pieces from the Hacker project are in high demand so you have got to get your hands on them quickly, as these pieces will likely never be back again.
We hope you found this analysis of Gucci vs Balenciaga helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the post below.