In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir

Patricia Gucci. Crown, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8041-3893-2
This intimate memoir by the daughter of Aldo Gucci and his longtime mistress, Bruna, describes growing up in the shadow of the family at the center of the Gucci fashion empire. The memoir charts the love affair of the author’s parents and depicts the glitzy lifestyle of a man at the center of the fashion industry in the 1960s. Fashion magnate Aldo, a bon vivant man-about-town in Rome, Milan, and Hollywood, is credited with turning his father’s luggage business into a high-end international fashion house. The memoir culminates with Aldo’s nephew and lawful sons wresting the business away from him, and his subsequent trial for tax evasion. The most intriguing character, however, is the author’s mysterious, conservative mother, a former shop clerk who fell in love with her boss and was loyal to him—raising his (mostly hidden) daughter and keeping his secrets—until his death in 1990. She even tells her young daughter, “In truth, I was a better mother to him than I was to you.” This book is particularly successful as a personal story about growing up with the weight of illegitimacy on one’s young yet well-dressed shoulders. It is less successful in its idolization of Aldo Gucci, a man whom time—and his own brand, now more often associated with recent creative directors Alessandro Michele and Tom Ford—has mostly forgotten. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 05/10/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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Hardcover - 978-0-8041-3895-6
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