In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir by Patricia Gucci
Gucci is a world-class Italian fashion empire that has been around for almost 100 years. While there may be people in the outback or a comparatively isolated place that have not heard of Gucci, I think I’m safe in saying that most of you reading this aren’t included in that group. I myself love all things fashion so I was immediately drawn to this book.
In the Name of Gucci is a heartfelt memoir penned by Patricia Gucci, Aldo Gucci’s daughter. Between these pages, Patricia Gucci tenderly recollects the love between her parents. She tells us of the times that she and her mother Bruna, spent with Aldo, along with the times that they didn’t get to spend with him because Aldo was already married with three sons. Aldo’s relationship with Bruna was not only an adulterous relationship, but one that was punishable by law in Italy in the 1960s. But that didn’t stop Aldo Gucci. When he laid eyes on young Bruna working in one of his stores, he was unable to resist her and Bruna found herself swept away by this older, charming and very well-known man. It was a relationship that had to be hidden from the public eye but it lasted decades.
As Patricia researched her book, she had a hard time getting her mother to open up. Bruna, a quiet and devoted woman, did eventually share some anecdotes along with a bundle of love letters she had kept close to her heart. While the matter of a relationship between a married man in his 50s and a young girl of 20 is far from ideal, Patricia manages to see past the heartache that she, her mother and Aldo’s family must have felt as she delves into the love that her parents had for one another. The memories from her childhood are of a loving mother and father. This is surprising because Aldo was an absentee father the majority of the time and Bruna was understandably, a sad and withdrawn woman.
Patricia also outlines the history behind the making of a fashion empire that still exists today. Her grandfather Guccio Gucci went from being a page at the Savoy Hotel to being the founder of the Gucci brand. She also details the family squabbles that took place within the company, Aldo’s time in prison and her eventual involvement in the company. Patricia Gucci has written a book that has it all, love, glamour, success, adultery, betrayal, crime, etc. This book is a very thoughtful family portrait. I found myself thoroughly immersed in the Gucci story and I recommend that you add this to the top of your nonfiction reading list!
I want to thank the publisher (Crown Publishing) for providing me with the ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.