In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir
The gripping family drama—and never-before-told love story—surrounding the rise and fall of the late Aldo Gucci, the man responsible for making the legendary fashion label the powerhouse it is today, as told by his daughter.
Patricia Gucci was born a secret: the lovechild whose birth could have spelled ruination for her father, Aldo Gucci. It was the early 1960s, the halcyon days for Gucci—the must-have brand of Hollywood and royalty—but also a time when having a child out of wedlock was illegal in Italy. Aldo couldn't afford a public scandal, nor could he resist his feelings for Patricia’s mother, Bruna, the paramour he met when she worked in the first Gucci store in Rome. To avoid controversy, he sent Bruna to London after she became pregnant, and then discretely whisked her back to Rome with her newborn hidden from the Italian authorities, the media, and the Gucci family.
In the Name of Gucci charts the untold love story of Patricia’s parents, relying on the author’s own memories, a collection of love letters and interviews with her mother, as well as an archive of previously unseen photos. She interweaves her parents' tempestuous narrative with that of her own relationship with her father—from an isolated little girl who lived in the shadows for the best part of a decade through her rise as Gucci's spokesperson and Aldo's youngest protégé, to the moment when Aldo’s three sons were shunned after betraying him in a notorious coup and Patricia—once considered a guilty secret—was made his sole universal heir. It is an epic tale of love and loss, treason and loyalty, sweeping across Italy, England and America during the most tumultuous period of Gucci's sixty years as a family business.
head and move on to the next. One particular store caught his eye. It was situated on the ground floor of his hotel, the prestigious Savoy-Plaza (from which he would write my mother letters, but more on that later). On the corner of East Fifty-Eighth Street and Fifth Avenue, the iconic luxury hotel with the auspicious name towered over Central Park. The stores in its ground-floor premises may not have opened directly onto Fifth Avenue, as my father would have preferred, but they were within view
twinset and pearls. Instead, she was a shrunken little old lady in a wheelchair and her physical and mental frailty at eighty-one shocked me. My mother, stiff with sorrow, didn’t even appear to notice. Nor did we register our marked separation from that side of my father’s family. This was our default position. On that bitter morning, in that unattractive building, all I could do was fan my fingers over my unborn child and wonder how we’d survive without my father’s protection from the family
additional $7,000 received a color-coordinated set of luggage. Known as the “Big Daddy” of designer vehicles, it was one of the very first collaborations between a luxury brand and a car manufacturer, paving the way for many more to come. Although he wasn’t an ostentatious man, Papà reserved a midnight-blue model for himself, which he kept in Palm Beach and used to travel back and forth to the store on Worth Avenue. My mother thought it too gaudy and refused to be seen anywhere near it,
Modeling swimwear at the Gucci Galleria for Town & Country magazine, 1982 Me with Ruby Hamra at the opening of the latest store in New York, 1980 Courtesy of Christophe von Hohenberg The new face of Gucci: my turn in the spotlight for a society magazine, 1983 With Papà at my eighteenth-birthday party at the Savoy, London—where it all began Although some might think my family was lucky in many ways, my father and I would disagree. He wasn’t superstitious and he never believed
involvement with the business is what kept him going. I’d seen firsthand how he never gave up without a fight and I couldn’t help but wonder what his next move might be. When he heard that an old friend wanted to see him, he was pleased. Severin Wunderman was the Belgian-born Holocaust survivor and watchmaker whose fortune Papà had helped make back in the 1970s. Wunderman was now on the Gucci board and my father hoped he might be able to influence his nephew to allow him to stay on as a