Are you searching for Gucci on Internet?

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“There’s a lot of history behind a Gucci handbag”, says Patricia, Aldo Gucci’s illegitimate daughter, who was president of the Italian fashion firm for more than three decades (between 1953 and 1984), a visionary responsible for the brand’s expansion. The son of the founder Guccio Gucci, with Aldo the company transferred its Florentine origins and entered the global luxury market with great force until it took made in Italy to the United States in the sixties.

What’s the secret of Gucci?

However, business success concealed a history of frustration and a great secret. Aldo Gucci married Olwen Price, with whom he had three children. On his 50th birthday he fell in love with a young girl of only 18, with a friendly smile and big eyes that conquered him from the moment he went to a job interview for Gucci’s Rome office. Her name was Bruna Palombo and she soon became his secretary. In a few months they fell in love and Palombo became Aldo Gucci’s mistress.

Patricia, author of the book In the Name of Gucci (Hardcover), was born in 1963 from this relationship. In it he tells the story of the firm and his father’s vision as an entrepreneur. She also remembers how her parents met and fell in love, and how she found out, at the age of 9, that her mother was actually her father’s mistress and that he was still married and raising three more children. One day, when I was 9 years old, my mother asked me to sit in her bed (…) She told me that she and my father were in love, but they were not married. l was married to another woman, in Rome, and I had three half-brothers,”he recalls.

One of the most important brands in the world

It was a great shock, because Patricia thought that her father’s absence was a consequence of her work as president of one of the most important fashion brands at the time. Back then, she lived in London. Moving from Rome to London was the solution that Aldo Gucci found not to be persecuted by justice. She did it to protect her lover and her daughter, whom she visited every month and spent part of her holidays with. In those years in Italy it was illegal to have children outside marriage. Bruna Palombo’s 1962 pregnancy shaken the foundations of the emporium, which had never been better. Everything could have vanished if something had been known to be a big scandal at the time.

Aldo was responsible for the education of her daughter -who studied in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy- and also for her and Palombo’s lack of anything. Over time, having children outside of marriage ceased to be illegal and their existence became an open secret. Besides, he wanted his daughter to carry his last name. “Our family was rock solid,” he recalls.

In 1982, she was appointed itinerant ambassador of the firm in Asia and the United States, a position she held until 1987, when Gucci was sold to the Arabian financier Investcorp. Patricia became the first woman to hold a managerial position at the firm.