The heirs to Gucci have aired their concerns about their depiction in upcoming Ridley Scott film, The House Of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.
The great-grandchildren of Gucci fashion empire founder Guccio Gucci have appealed to filmmaker Sir Ridley Scott to respect their family’s legacy in the new movie that focuses on a sensational murder.
The movie is based on a book about the 1995 murder-for-hire of one of Gucci’s grandchildren, Maurizio, and the subsequent trial and conviction of his ex-wife.
Starring role: The heirs to Gucci have aired their concerns about their depiction in upcoming Ridley Scott film, The House Of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver
Lady Gaga’s character Patrizia Reggiani is at the centre of the explosive story and served 16 years in prison for contracting the murder.
One of Maurizio’s second cousins, Patrizia Gucci, is worried that the film goes beyond the headline-grabbing true-crime story and pries into their private lives.
She said: ‘We are truly disappointed. I speak on behalf of the family.
‘They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system… Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything. But there is a borderline that cannot be crossed.’
Hitting back: The movie is based on a book about the 1995 murder-for-hire of one of Gucci’s grandchildren, Maurizio, and the subsequent trial and conviction of his ex-wife (Maurizio Gucci and wife Patrizia Reggiani, pictured)
Patrizia said she reached out to Sir Ridley Scott’s wife, Giannina Facio, for clarification on the scope of the film, but has not received any reply.
Giannina met with members of the Gucci family in the early 2000s to discuss another project that was to have focused on the roles of Patrizia Gucci’s father, Paolo, and grandfather Aldo in expanding the brand into a global luxury player.
The fact that the production company did not reach out for the new film only heightens the family’s concerns, Patrizia said.
Uncanny: Adam pictured as Maurizio, left, and the real Gucci heir pictured right
British director Sir Ridley’s production company did not respond to requests for comment.
Guccio Gucci founded the luxury fashion house that bears his name nearly a century ago in Florence. The Guccis are not the first Italian fashion family to wrestle with on-screen depictions about tragic events.
The Versace family put out a statement in 2018 about the season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story that dealt with the murder of founder Gianni Versace, saying the TV series was not authorised and should be considered ‘a work of fiction’.
Patrizia said her family will decide what further action they might take after seeing the film.
Striking resemblance: Gaga pictured as Reggiani, left, and the real ‘black widow’ pictured right
Their concerns stem from top actors having been cast to play family members whose stories intersect little with Maurizio Gucci’s murder, as well as the lack of current contact with Sir Ridley’s production company and perceived inaccuracies in the book which the film is based on.
In the film, Al Pacino plays Aldo Gucci, whom his granddaughter remembers as an expert salesman who opened Gucci stores on Rome’s via Condotti and in New York, bringing in VIP clientele and expanding the brand’s global reach.
Jared Leto plays Paolo Gucci, whose creative contributions included the idea to create the Gucci brand’s famed double-G logo, as well as its trademark plasticised bags and moccasins.
A helping hand: Lady Gaga has been spotted on-set shooting the film
It is this story that she recounts in her own book, Gucci: The True Story Of A Successful Dynasty, which was published in Italian in 2015.
Patrizia said pap photos from House Of Gucci set have not been at all reassuring.
She said: ‘My grandfather was a very handsome man, like all the Guccis, and very tall, blue eyes and very elegant. He is being played by Al Pacino, who is not very tall already, and this photo shows him as fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly…
‘Shameful, because he doesn’t resemble him at all.’
Leto’s Paolo Gucci, meanwhile, is shown with unkempt hair, and a lilac corduroy suit not at all in line with his daughter’s recollections.
She said: ‘Horrible, horrible. I still feel offended’.
Hitting back: The Versace family put out a statement in 2018 about the season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story that dealt with the murder of founder Gianni Versace, saying the TV series was not authorised and should be considered ‘a work of fiction’
The Gucci family has not been involved with the Gucci fashion house since 1993, when Maurizio sold his remaining stake to the Bahrain-based company, Investcorp.
It was later bought by the French group PPR, which is now Kering.
The fashion house is cooperating with the The House Of Gucci, opening its archives to the film company for wardrobe and props.
Salma Hayek, the wife of Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault, appears in the film.
Leto is a close friend of creative director Alessandro Michele.
The new film is scheduled to go on general release from November 24 2021.
The Gucci empire
The fashion empire of Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, a Florentine leather merchant whose business of selling leather travel bags prospered after the Depression and World War Two.
Guccio’s son Aldo expanded the business into Paris, New York and Tokyo as the ‘twin Gs’ of the family name became a worldwide fashion icon.
By 1974, the Gucci empire numbered 14 stores and 46 franchised boutiques around the world.
At around the same time, celebrities like Jackie Kennedy were helping establish Gucci as the world’s leading fashion brand by embracing its products.
Maurizio Gucci, Guccio’s grandson and Aldo’s nephew, took control of the company from the board of directors after Aldo, who was sent to prison for tax evasion in 1986 aged 81.
However, Maurizio would be the last member of the family to head the Gucci business.
By 1989, nearly 50 per cent of the business had been bought out by Investcorp, a group of investment bankers angling for shares of the business.
In 1993, Maurizio sold his holding for $170m to a Bahrain-based investment company.