House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed

tags: crime, fashion

Fascinating history of the Gucci family and company, from the patriarch and his humble origins as a leatherworker in rural Italy, down through the generations, including the sensational murder which was the focus of the 2021 movie, and then the current disposition of all the players and the destiny of the company.

I saw the movie last year, and thought it was amazing. The book is perhaps better – certainly larger in scope. While the movie concentrates on the ultimately tragic relationship between Maurizio and Patrizia, the book steps back to consider the entire family and their collective dysfunction.

Throughout, Italy itself is almost another character. The “Italian-ness” of the Gucci family can’t be ignored, as it seems to influence everything they do. The company moves from Milan to Florence to somewhere else, then back to Florence, etc. Where the company is physically located seems to imbue it with some character.

There’s a lot of business talk, clearly, much of it fascinating. The economic machinations around the company in the 90s and 2000s were severe. Currently, the company runs without any Gucci family members. It’s entirely owned by holding companies.

Tom Ford comes out like a conquering hero. He alone seems to be the person who saved Gucci in the 90s, perhaps with some help from Domenic De Sole, who would become CEO. “Tom and Dom” are like the wonder duo.

This is the movie tie-in, re-released after the movie came out last year (the book was originally written in 2001). It includes an afterword which explains what happened to all the players.

Wonderful book.

Book Info