The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
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Did Patrizia Reggiani murder her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, in 1995 because his spending was wildly out of control? Did she do it because her glamorous ex was preparing to marry his mistress, Paola Franchi? Or is there a possibility she didn't do it at all?
In this gripping account of the ascent, eventual collapse, and resurrection of the Gucci dynasty, Sara Gay Forden takes us behind the scenes of the trial and exposes the passions, the power, and the vulnerabilities of the greatest fashion family of our times.
“Buongiorno!” “Buongiorno, Dottore,” said Giuseppe Onorato, looking up from his sweeping. ONLY THE MAID saw Patrizia Reggiani sobbing uncontrollably the morning of March 27, 1995, after she heard the news of Maurizio’s death. Afterward, she dried her tears, pulled herself together, and penned a single word in her Cartier diary, all in capital letters: PARADEISOS, meaning “paradise” in Greek. With her pen, she slowly drew a bold black border around the date. At three o’clock that afternoon,
wasn’t much else to do. There weren’t any more tricks in the bag. “We were just sitting there, waiting for someone to take us over,” Tom Ford recalled. “It was so frustrating.” In the summer of 1998, after Prada took its stake, De Sole and Ford even met with leveraged-buyout king Henry Kravis, and looked at buying the company themselves. But they soon realized that a leveraged buyout would be too expensive and risky, possibly igniting a bidding war with a strategic buyer from the industry who
proving to be the city’s most riveting luxury war since Arnault’s bid for Louis Vuitton back in 1989. Although the champagne evening at the Pompidou was a masterful stroke in Gucci’s advance on the Parisian fashion establishment, the true test awaited Ford at the YSL fashion show the next day. The afternoon of March 14, 2001, Domenico De Sole watched as an animated crowd of journalists, fashion editors, buyers, and photographers started filing into the long black box for YSL’s fall collection.
Gucci’s famous bags. Buggies rolled back and forth filled with goods in various stages of production, some to be glued, others for stitching, cutting, or trimming or to have the hardware attached. With the exception of more modern leather cutting and pressing equipment, the artisans used the same techniques they had on Via delle Caldaie and Lungarno Guicciardini before that. After being inspected, each piece was slipped into a white flannel wrapper and prepared for shipping, as is still done
fashion and design community. The small group would gather on the terrace at Via Orti for home-cooked meals Buckley prepared, and Ford often invited his design team over for evening work sessions. “We were supposed to be doing a cross between Calvin Klein and Timberland,” recalled David Bamber, who also traveled to Scotland to develop a cashmere program for Gucci, commissioning classic cashmere sweaters in a rainbow of colors. The Americans proved vital to Gucci’s future. Dawn Mello went far