Celebrity Style

Dakota Johnson’s “Perfect” Handbag Is A Reimagined Gucci Classic 

Glen Luchford

“The Jackie is the perfect bag,” Dakota Johnson tells Vogue, in an exclusive first look at Gucci’s new Jackie 1961 campaign.

“I’ve always romanticized ’70s fashion,” Dakota Johnson tells British Vogue. “The shapes, lines, colors and patterns. But also the vibe of the people wearing the clothes.” The star’s nostalgic sensibilities are evident in any number of her red-carpet appearances, from the unapologetically retro Gucci suiting she chose to attend South by Southwest last March, to the Old Hollywood splendor of her feathered champagne gown (also Gucci) for Vanity Fair’s post-Oscars party that same month. 

Dakota Johnson stars in Gucci’s new Jackie 1961 campaign, photographed by Glen Luchford. Glen Luchford

Who better, then, than Dakota to serve as the face of Gucci’s newest iteration of one of its best-loved bags, the Jackie 1961? The actor takes up the mantle from countless A-list owners that pepper the bag’s 60-plus year history—none more significant, of course, than the die-hard fan for whom the accessory was ultimately renamed: Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Instantly recognizable thanks to its curved half-moon shape and distinctive piston hardware, Gucci’s saddle bag became a firm favorite of the former First Lady’s in the ’70s, and photographs of Jackie flitting around Manhattan with her leather tote in tow swiftly propelled it to icon status.

Jackie Kennedy with her 1961 bag in the ’70s, modern ambassador Dakota Johnson’s favourite fashion era. New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

From one enigmatic brunette to another, Dakota is the ideal modern muse for this contemporary spin on a house favorite. The campaign imagery, shot by British photographer Glen Luchford, echoes the sort of paparazzi snaps that are so intrinsic to modern celebrity culture, but also documented Mrs Kennedy Onassis’s love affair with the handbag all those decades ago. Instead of Jackie clutching her passport on her way out of the airport, her tote tucked under her arm, we find Johnson en route to the gym carrying the contemporary It-girl’s essentials: yoga mat, car keys, water bottle, plus a new cobalt-blue version of the Jackie 1961 dangling at her hip. 

Dakota carrying a snake print-effect version of Gucci’s Jackie 1961 bag in the campaign. Glen Luchford

Rebooting handbags with heritage has proven to be a wildly successful strategy for Gucci in recent years. In the summer of 2021, erstwhile creative director Alessandro Michele (who confirmed his departure in November after an industry-changing stint at the helm of the brand), brought back another beloved accessory from the brand’s archive: Princess Diana’s favorite bamboo handle tote. Synonymous with the late Diana’s look in the ’90s, her most confident—and influential—style era, Michele transformed the structured tote for the 21st century, adding neon leather belts that fastened around the signature bamboo handles, and giving consumers the option to customize their bags with letters and stars. 

The evolution of the Jackie 1961, meanwhile, has already won over an eclectic mix of celebrity fans, from Cate Blanchett to Gen-Z idol Amandla Stenberg, Jodie Turner-Smith to Harry Styles. This latest update incorporates three different sizes— mini, small and medium—in a range of colors and finishes, from natural grain to patent to precious leather. “The Jackie is the perfect bag,” says Dakota, a longtime Gucci fangirl. “It’s a great size and is so chic.” Prepare to see this reworked classic in countless genuine paparazzi shots this year. 

This article was originally published on British Vogue.

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