Paolo Gucci: Was He the Black Sheep of the Gucci Dynasty?

Paolo Gucci

Guccio Gucci worked at the Hotel Savoy in London in 1899. From there he was inspired by the luggage companies and elegant upper-class hotel guests. He moved to Florence and started the House of Gucci as a small family-owned leather shop in 1921. Gucci’s first store was opened in Milan in 1951. In this article, we will be focusing on one particular member of the Gucci dynasty, Paolo Gucci, the black sheep of the family. 

The Gucci family is again making headlines courtesy of the movie “The House of Gucci”. The movie showcases everything that transpired at Gucci including betrayal, deception, and murder. Running a family business always comes with its own set of complications – but the Guccis took the concept of “family drama” to the next level. The fighting within the family ultimately led to the Guccis being driven out of the company.

Who was Paolo Gucci?

  • Paolo Gucci was an eccentric Italian businessman and the grandson of Guccio Gucci. 
  • Born of Olwen Price and Aldo Gucci.
  • One of the key players in the struggle for control of the fashion industry.
  • Born in the year 1931 on March 29th in Florence.
  • One-time chief designer and vice president of Gucci.
  • Credited with helping in designing Gucci’s famous “double G” Logo.
Paolo Gucci

How was the Family Life of Paolo Gucci?

  • Paolo Gucci married Yvonne Moschetto in the year 1952.
  • He had two daughters Elisabetta and Patrizia with Yvonne.
  • Paolo Gucci divorced his first wife and remarried in 1977.
  • He had one daughter, Gemma Gucci, with his second wife, Jenny Garwood who was a British socialite.
  • He separated from his second wife following an affair with Penny Armstrong who was 19 at the time.
  • He has two children with Penny out of wedlock, Alyssa and Gabriele.

What Role did Paolo Gucci play in the Family Business?

Paolo Gucci played a key role in the struggle that took place in the family for control of the company and hence the fashion industry.

  • His father Aldo Gucci branched the family business to the United States in 1953.
  • He was the Chief Designer of the company in the late 1960s.
  • Paolo Gucci was appointed as the Vice-President of the company in 1978.
  • He was also named the Managing Director of Gucci Shops Inc. and Gucci Parfums of America.
  • The American venture under his leadership failed.

What Circumstances led to the firing of Paolo Gucci from the Gucci Dynasty?

  • He was fired by his uncle Rodolfo Gucci blaming him for the failure of the American venture.
  • Paolo Gucci launched his own secret business using the family name in 1980.
  • He did not inform anyone about his secret venture.
  • This infuriated his father and uncle and they fired him again from the company in September 1980.
  • Also, his father sued him and threatened any Gucci suppliers who dared to sign on with Paolo.
  • From this point onward, Paolo Gucci was in constant conflict with his family.

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What Plans did Paolo Gucci have for his own Fashion Line?

  • After being fired from the company, Paolo Gucci attempted to start his own business venture.
  • He had planned on designing “lamps, furniture, sunglasses, bedding accessories, sleepwear, and other fabrics” under his own name.
  • Unfortunately, he could not launch the “Paolo Gucci” label.
  • Shortly after being granted the right to use his name for his fashion line, he left the fashion world.

How did Paolo Gucci Plan his Revenge on his Family?

  • Paolo managed to get his father Aldo removed from the company in 1984.
  • He was helped by his cousin, Maurizio Gucci, who had recently acquired a major share in the company.
  • Paolo Gucci also tipped off the IRS about his Aldo’s tax evasions.
  • This led to Aldo Gucci being sentenced to 1 year and a day in prison in the year 1986.

What Led to the Bankruptcy of Paolo Gucci?

  • Paolo Gucci sold all his shares in the company for a sum of $ 42.5 million to Investocorp.
  • Owing to his extravagant affairs and poor business decisions, he went bankrupt in 1993.
  • He claimed that he was in debt of around $ 90 million.
  • His ex-wife, Jenny Garwood, sued him for failing to pay child support.
  • She claimed that he owed her $ 505,600 in child support.
  • This in turn led to him being imprisoned in New York jail for five weeks.
Paolo Gucci

What Happened to Paolo Gucci After the Bankruptcy?

  • He spent around $ 8 million fighting for the right to use his name for his new venture.
  • He also filed lawsuits for infliction of emotional distress and assault.
  • Paolo Gucci filed a lawsuit of $ 13 million against his uncle, cousin, and father.
  • He died in poverty in the year 1995 on October 10th in London.
  • He died of chronic hepatitis at the age of 65.
  • He was in the middle of divorce proceedings at the time of his death.

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