These two luxury brands are beloved by fashion enthusiasts, but what are the differences between YSL vs Gucci, and which one is better for you?
Both YSL and Gucci have a long history and are known for creating absolutely stunning ready-to-wear collections, shoes, leather goods, and accessories. These two labels may seem very similar on the surface, which is why it can be so difficult to choose between the two.
However, if you dive a little deeper you will discover some key difference between the luxury labels to help you pick one over the other. This article will explore the history of these two brands, the difference between them, as well as our favorite products from each brand, before finally coming to a conclusion on YSL vs Gucci.
YSL vs Gucci
the history of YSL
Yves Saint Laurent founded his eponymous luxury French fashion house, Yves Saint Laurent, alongside his partner Pierre Bergé in 1962. Saint Laurent had previously been the creative director of Christian Dior from 1957 to 1959 and so had experience leading a very popular design house.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Yves Saint Laurent was a powerful designer with a successful brand that introduced many new trends to the shoppers of these decades – including the beatnik look and a tuxedo suit for women, known as Le Smoking suit, the first of its kind.
As Saint Laurent began to struggle under the pressure of two haute couture shows and two pret-a-porter shows a year, Pierre Bergé appointed Hedi Slimane as the creative director in 1997.
However, Slimane only stayed at Yves Saint Laurent for two years before he left and was replaced by Tom Ford, who designed the ready-to-wear collections, while Saint Laurent himself continued to design the haute couture collections.
In 2007, Hedi Slimane returned to the Yves Saint Laurent brand, creating innovative, high successful collections that revived the popularity of the brand.
Although his return was not without controversy, Slimane rebranded the fashion house as just Saint Laurent, dropping the Yves, although handbag collections would still feature the YSL logo that had been an important part of the brand since 1963.
In 2015, Slimane announced the return of the Yves Saint Laurent Couture collection, which had been discontinued in 2002. In 2016, the brand changed again, when Hedi Slimane stepped down as creative director and was replaced by Anthony Vaccarello – who has continued to create outstanding collections and luxury items for this famous fashion house.
The history of Gucci
This highly popular, world-renowned Italian brand has grown from humble beginnings in 1920s Florence. Guccio Gucci founded his namesake company in 1921, after spending time in London, working in a hotel and learning about the luggage preferences of the hotel’s wealthy clients.
He returned to Florence and began his own luggage company, which quickly caught the attention of the elite in Italian society because of its contemporary designs and high-quality materials. Gucci’s son, Aldo convinced his father to open a store in Rome and expand the collection of luxury goods on offer, and gloves, belts, and wallets were added to the Gucci repertoire.
Gucci suffered some material shortages during World War Two, and so had to become more inventive with the materials they used to create their luggage and bags.
They began to produce more bags in coated canvas, which was stylish and durable – since it now featured the GG monogram. Aldo designed the monogram using his father’s initials, and since the 1940s, it has become an iconic symbol of the Gucci label.
Gucci garnered a worldwide reputation, which only grew even more when Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco, and Jackie Kennedy became customers and were seen with some now-famous Gucci accessories.
Fast-forward several decades and now the house of Gucci is one of the biggest luxury brands in the world. Under the guidance of creative director Alessandro Michele, who has fulfilled this role since 2015, Gucci has become known for its opulent, bold, geek-chic aesthetic.
Now a very popular brand with celebrities as well, Gucci often features on the red carpet of award shows, while singers, actresses, and sportspeople appear in Gucci campaigns.
Differences between YSL Vs Gucci
There are definitely some similarities between the items offered by each brand and their long histories, but it is their differences we are going to focus on to help you decide which brand is better suited to you.
1. Brand Aesthetic
YSL and Gucci both have very different brand aesthetics, and this is a very important aspect to take into consideration when making a decision.
YSL are often more minimalist in their designs, with much of the focus on the luxurious leather, which has been quilted and then features the YSL hardware. If you are looking for timeless, classic style bags, YSL is a great place to look.
On the other hand, Gucci is often much bolder in their designs, with lots of eye-catching prints and colors. In addition to this, they are famous for using interesting materials such as bamboo in their bags.
Gucci also offers their bags in a wide range of materials, including different leathers and coated canvases, if you love a logo-printed bag. The silhouettes of their handbags are also fun and unusual, and often include a mix of contemporary elements and archival pieces.
If this sounds like your sort of aesthetic, then Gucci would be perfect for you. They also have a wider selection of bags on offer if you like to have lots of handbags to choose from.
2. Price range
YSL and Gucci both create some stunning bags, but there is a slight price difference between them that may be a crucial aspect to think about when choosing your favorite brand. Saint Laurent handbags retail between $1,000 and $4,690, while Gucci bags can range from $790 up to $7,700.
Classic bags from Gucci in exotic skins can be sold for even more than this – up to $36,000! Although some smaller Gucci bags are a little less expensive than YSL, they also offer handbags that are much more expensive than Saint Laurent’s.
Our top picks from YSL Vs Gucci
Both fashion houses create some of the best designer bags out there, so let’s take a look at some of the top styles and best options from YSL and Gucci.
1. Camera bags
Camera bags are the perfect, compact handbag that everyone needs in their collection. Luckily, YSL and Gucci have some of the most gorgeous camera bags out there.
The YSL Lou camera bag takes its inspiration from vintage camera bags, but has a contemporary twist, making it the ideal option for the busy modern woman.
The calfskin leather has been decorated with a chevron quilting and then embellished with polished gold YSL logo hardware. The delicate leather crossbody strap is adjustable for comfort, while the spacious interior features a slip pocket to help you remain organized – perfect!
Although not explicitly named a camera bag, the GG Marmont bag by Gucci is classified as a camera bag because of its rectangular compact shape and simple design.
This camera bag is crafted from supple, quilted leather and then decorated with the GG logo in an antique silver tone. The chain strap is adjustable so the bag can be worn on the shoulder or across the body for ultimate versatility.
The Gucci Marmont bag is a classic, timeless style that will be eternally stylish.
2. tote bags
Everyone needs a tote bag in their wardrobe, as they are so handy and perfectly suited to any time in your life. Here are two of our favorite options from YSL vs Gucci.
The Rive Gauche tote from Yves Saint Laurent is a beloved bag that became an instant success when it was launched, and as a consequence it is now available in multiple different colors and fabrics.
The black edition of the bag is perfectly versatile but also has a stunning texture thanks to the combination of linen and leather. ‘Rive Gauche, Saint Laurent’ is printed on the front in large white letters to make it instantly recognizable as YSL.
The larger size of this Gucci GG Jumbo tote means it has enough room to fit your work items, including your laptop, or all your weekend essentials.
The canvas has been jacquard woven to ensure durability and show off the oversized GG monogram that boldly decorates this bag. The dark brown leather trim and longer webbing strap are the final finishing touches to this fabulous bag that will quickly become a favorite bag in your collection.
3. shoulder bags
YSL and Gucci offer some incredible shoulder bags making it difficult to narrow down the choice! These are just two examples of bags that we absolutely love from both brands.
The Lou Lou bag is a Saint Laurent fan-favorite, and it’s clear to see why. The buttery soft calfskin leather has been sumptuously quilted in a unique Y design to add incredible tactile detail.
The bronze hardware, in the YSL logo and chain strap, are the perfect gleaming element to accentuate the leather of the bag – which is actually available in five different colors of leather. The interior is also impeccable – with a central zip pocket, the interior is divided to help you stay organized.
On the other hand we have perhaps one of the best-known Gucci bags, the iconic Dionysus. This bag received its name because of the tiger head closure that features front and center.
The Greek god Dionysus is rumored to have traveled across the Tigris river on the back of a tiger – hence why the Gucci Dionysus bag prominently features a tiger’s head. This edition of the Dionysus is made from black and ivory denim jacquard with black leather trim and silver-toned hardware.
4. top handle bags
There is great variety in top handle bags, but these structured options from the two luxury fashion houses are somewhat similar and totally irresistible.
The Saint Laurent Sac de Jour has been a favorite for a long time because of its minimalist, classic design that just never goes out of style. This luxury bag has been a popular work bag because of its smart aesthetic, spacious interior, top handles, and shoulder strap.
Available in six different colors and multiple different sizes, there is about to be a version of the gorgeous Sac de Jour that suits your personal style and lifestyle.
The Gucci Diana tote is another beautiful bag created by Gucci. The striking combination of leather, bamboo, and canvas webbing makes for an eye-catching bag.
Available in multiple different colors, the Diana features curved bamboo top handles. The royal blue leather of this particular bag is complemented with antique gold-toned hardware and a detachable navy and red shoulder strap, to convert this into a shoulder or crossbody bag.
YSL and Gucci are similar in a lot of ways, including their history and price range, so you have to focus on the brand aesthetic in order to make a decision.
If you are after a classic style, that will stand the test of time and always look elegant and luxurious, then a handbag from YSL is the way to go. In our opinion, YSL also makes the better office bags as they embody a minimalist aesthetic and don’t necessarily garner too much attention.
However, if you want a wider selection of bags to choose from, with eye-catching, more opulent designs – then go for Gucci. Alessandro Michele always delivers on striking, fun handbags.
Both brands have produced some iconic bags that are guaranteed to add a little bit more glam to your wardrobe – so you can’t really go wrong by picking either brand!
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