An Authentic $1600 Bag for Under $200?

Yes, you read that correctly. No, it is not a dupe and yes, it is authentic! In the summer of 2019, Gucci brought back their GG Supreme Collection, which made its debut in the 1970s. Very classic, very chic, the Supreme Collection was known for its signature “G” monogrammed pattern and its original green and red stripe. What really set this bag apart from the more modern collection of its kind, was the pig skin leather from which the bags were trimmed. In fact, the 1970s collection juxtaposed to the 2019 collection bare an uncanny resemblance, except for the tiny “specks” or “holes” that differentiates the pig skin leather from the cow leather.

My 60-year-old aunt (and I give her age out of mere respect) is living out her retirement days in style. Actually, if we were to rewind 40 years back, you’ll probably see a younger version of my aunt with a book up to her face studying fashion; a major she loved as she wanted to be a stylist. And her sense of style has not escaped her. So when she came over one day in what looked to be the new bag from Gucci’s line (hers was the GUCCI GG medium Top handle bag Ophidia), I had to compliment her style, all the while wondering if she really just spent close to $2,000 for a purse. Her response: “Thank you! I’ve had this bag for over 40 years now”.

My mouth dropped. It still looked brand new! It was no different than the bags that were currently on the Gucci website! Although I was 5 months pregnant at the time, I was on a quest to find that bag. I mean, surely my aunt wouldn’t mind if I cramped her style just a little bit, right? Luxury consignments shops around Atlanta did not have what I was looking for. A lot of Louis Vuitton (which I did score a Saint Cloud that I will talk more about at a later time) but hardly any Gucci and definitely not the GG Supreme.

I did more research and came across a site called Mercari. While I did not find the exact style that my aunt had, I did find an original Ophidia. The owner was selling the bag for $190! Nope. This can’t be the real deal, even though that is what the seller is claiming. Why were they selling it so cheap and did they not know about the history behind this classic piece? According to the seller, the bag was in poor condition. It appeared to be faded and some of the thread was loose on the straps. The only difference I could point out just from looking at the bags directly was that the 1970s Gucci emblem on the front was brass and the latest model appeared to be a metal-like material.

Well, if that was it, I had to jump on it and I did so quickly. If it wasn’t authentic, it would sting that I wasted my money but it wouldn’t hurt too badly. When my package came in the mail, I called my aunt immediately. After a thorough inspection, examining the quality, the “thickness” of the authenticity tag and the serial numbers, she confirmed that this was an authentic bag. We then took the bag to a luxury consignment shop in Fayetteville that confirmed the same. In one sitting, they asked if I wanted the thread fixed and to recondition the leather. Of course!

And what you see now is the new and improved original Ophidia from the 1970s line.

So what’s the moral of the story, you ask? I can say “there’s nothing new under the sun” and that’s true! But I want you to see how you don’t have to spend a whole pay check on a luxury item, if luxury is your thing. Sometimes what is “in” is just another version of an item that has already been created. If you come across a piece that you like, no matter what it is, dig a little deep and do your research! In the words of one of my favorite singers, Chrisette Michelle, “I’m a rich thrifter!” Okay, not her exact words, but you get the point.

The $1,690 Ophidia from the Gucci Site
My Ophidia

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