In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir

By Patricia Gucci

Crown Archetype

 

2.5/5 stars

 

With so many women obsessed with hand­bags, this assisted memoir from the heiress to Italian fashion house Gucci will no doubt achieve significant sales. But, to be fair, Patricia Gucci and author Wendy Holden paint an intriguing portrait of the life and ultimately difficult times of Aldo Gucci, who created a fashion empire out of a small Florence luggage company. The intrigue begins early, with Patricia, born to Bruna, her father’s mistress and a former Gucci shop assistant, destined to be raised on the shadowy fringes of the finely turned-out family. There’s a longing here for the glamour of the haute-couture world of the 1960s, with Aldo remembered as “some exotic bird” who flew in and out of surrounding lives while negotiating the circuit from Rome to London to Hollywood and back. Comparing his personal battles to the struggles of King Lear is grandiloquent, however, even coming from a loving daughter, and even if it was his sons who prised the business away from him as he tumbled towards tax-evasion proceed­ings. This is partly a balance-redressing tribute to a man JFK called “the first Italian ambassador of fashion”.