(RESUME AUDIO EN FRANCAIS)
I was swept away by this never-before told story of Aldo Gucci told by his daughter, Patricia Gucci. Patricia’s mother, Bruna, barely 20, was Aldo’s love of his life- but not his real wife (until very much later). She was his mistress, and as such she was kept a secret. When Patricia was born, she too was kept a secret for at least 18 months. Patricia, as a young girl never knew that her parents weren’t married- in fact, she only learned that she had 3 older brothers when she was ten!
In The Name of Gucci is a recollection of the life and romance between Aldo Gucci and Bruna, through love letters they wrote to each other. Bruna gave these precious letters she had kept a lifetime, to her one and only daughter,Patricia, who in turn unravels the story through this type of biography for us. Alongside this love story, Patricia also depicts her own relationship with her father- whom was both loving and devoted.
Of course this is by no means simply a love story. We get to see another angle of the Gucci family and the business dynamics; which is super interesting! A real saga of deception, embezzlement and fraud is a big part of the family’s story. It all runs parallel to the private life of Aldo Gucci and his ‘illegitimate’ but true, family.
We have to remember that this is Italy in the 60’s where women had very little power and men ruled almighty. That being said, Bruna was very independant and although she loved Aldo more than anything in the world, she still managed to save and make a living for herself (but of course Aldo could provide it all alongside this-and he did). Patricia was never left wanting for a thing- her name carried a weight of its own, anywhere she went.
Aldo was crazy about Bruna and adored Patricia. This is seen throughout the book. However there is a sense of detachment between mother and daughter that we feel as we read along. But then we understand that the turbulence that this lifetime affair posed on Bruna was key in deteriorating both her morale and mental health.
The story goes on until Aldo takes his very last breath, with his true family always by his side. I’m leaving out lots of juicy bits and pieces- you will have to most definitely pick up this book to learn about it all.
It should be noted that this is not the story as told in House of Gucci, the movie, which is mostly about the murder of Aldo’s son by his wife. In The Name of Gucci is about Aldo and his ‘other family’. But it’s true that both stories lived side by side and were re-lived on radio and television every evening by Italians of that time. A real soap opera.
I listened to this on Audible and enjoyed every minute of this drama.
Have you read it? Your thoughts?
Fashion Unstitched is a series where I take you through bits of fashion history, fibres and textiles, guest interviews, industry talk, fashion events, sustainability, museums, reviews…If it’s fashionable- I’m covering it!! Suggestions, and collaborations are welcome. Send me an email. Thanks for reading.