You’ve seen the incredible Instagram snaps of Lady Gaga and Adam Driver from the upcoming film, House of Gucci. You’ve even gotten a glimpse of the glamped-up wedding dress Mother Monster wore for the recreation of her character’s 1973 nuptials to Guccio Gucci’s grandson. But how much do you really know about the real-life couple that inspired the flick? After all, Maurizio Gucci, who met his fateful demise in 1995 at the hands of a hitman that ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani was convicted of hiring to kill him, didn’t always have such a tumultuous relationship with her. Before things took a turn, they were actually a “beautiful couple,” by Reggiani's own account.
The notorious duo weren’t the only Guccis to ever fall in love, either. The long-standing fashion empire is full of romance, heartache, and passion, tracing as far back as the duo that started it all: Maurizio’s grandmother and grandfather, Guccio and Aida Gucci.
Read on to learn about the family’s most famous couples throughout history and their roles in the House of Gucci line-up.
Guccio and Aida Gucci
As the patriarch of the Gucci clan, Guccio Gucci began laying the foundation for his family business at the turn of the century, when he married 24-year-old Aida Calvelli in 1901. After adopting Aida’s son Ugo from a previous relationship, Guccio went on to father five more children with the young dressmaker: daughter Grimalda Gucci and sons Enzo (who tragically passed away in childhood at the age of 9), Aldo, Vasco, and Rodolfo Gucci.
The pair’s three youngest sons would take over the reins of Guccio's then-booming business upon his death in 1953. He and Aida never divorced.
Grimalda Gucci and Giovanni Vitali
Guccio and Aida’s only daughter, Grimalda, was left without a role at her father’s goods and leather company when he died. Though she fought to keep a seat at the table, where she previously served as a board member, she ultimately lost out to her younger brothers. She didn’t miss out on her shot at love, however: She married Gucci executive Giovanni Vitalli on July 11, 1926.
Aldo Gucci and Olwen Price
As the story goes, Guccio and Aida’s second-born son, Aldo (he became the successor to the Gucci empire as its chairman) met his bride Olwen Price when she was just 19 years old and working for Princess Elisabeth of Romania. "The little shop of G. Gucci & Co in Via della Vigna Nuova, Florence, was one of her many stops and the place Olwen first fell under my father's spell,” Aldo’s daughter Patricia Gucci wrote in her memoir, In the Name of Gucci.
The Princess reportedly insisted upon their marriage after learning that Olwen was three months pregnant (other accounts report that Aldo announced his intent to marry Olwen before anyone knew of her condition). They tied the knot on August 22, 1927. As Patricia wrote, Olwen, though well-traveled, soon “felt like a fish out of water in a country where she barely spoke the language, didn't get on particularly well with her mother-in-law, and wasn't that keen on the food.”
As for Aldo, he would later fall in love with Patricia's mother, Bruna Palombo, an 18-year-old Gucci store employee—but not before fathering two more sons, Paolo and Roberto, with Olwen. Recalled Olwen’s niece, Anita Armitage, of the couple’s time together: "Their marriage was volatile, particularly since Aldo was an archetypal Italian man, but I could also see a great deal of mutual affection there.”
Aldo Gucci and Bruna Palombo
Bruna quickly went from working the Gucci floor to serving as Aldo Gucci’s personal secretary, at which point their love took off like a rocket. “She'd catch him gazing at her in a "gentle but special way," Patricia, wrote in her memoir of her parent’s intimate moments. In the book, she also recalled her mother telling her that she "had never received this kind of attention before and...just couldn't concentrate on anything."
The pair's affection wasn’t particularly well-timed—Aldo was still married to Olwen and Bruna engaged to another man—but they began a passionate affair anyway. When Patricia was born in 1963, Bruna was forced to hide her baby away for the first year of her life. Eventually, however, their secret got out, leaving Aldo free to express his affection for his former employee. When he passed away in 1990, it was she who was reportedly by his side.
Vasco Gucci and Maria Taburchi
Grimalda and Aldo’s brother Vasco reportedly worked on Gucci’s production and design after his father Guccio Gucci passed away. Vasco wed Maria Taburchi in 1933, but their union didn't produce any children. After his death in 1974, Maria reportedly sold the stake she received in the company from his death to his brothers, Aldo and Rodolfo.
Rodolfo Gucci and Sandra Ravel
Guccio’s youngest son, Rodolfo, worked in Gucci’s production and design department with Vasco, but also had a passion for the silver screen—he starred in more than 40 movies throughout his lifetime under the stage name Maurizio D’Ancora. In fact, it was embroiled in a love scene for Together in the Dark that he would fall head over heels for his future wife, Italian actress Sandra Revel (née Alessandra Winklehaussen).
Per an excerpt from The House of Gucci: A True Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, the duo married in Venice in 1944. For their reception, they rode around in a gondola on a lagoon, toasting to their happiness. Four years later, they welcomed their only son, Maurizio Gucci.
Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani
House of Gucci is centered on the family’s most notorious couple: Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani. The duo met at a party in Milan while in their early 20s, and the young businessman was reportedly so struck by Patrizia’s beauty in her red gown, that he reportedly compared her to Elizabeth Taylor and requested to know her identity. By 1972, they were wed. “Maurizio felt free with me. We had fun, we were a team,” Patrizia would later tell The Guardian. “We were a beautiful couple and we had a beautiful life, of course.”
For years, they lived fancy and free, indulging in what Patrizia recounted to the publication were ‘80s color-themed parties and a 64-foot yacht named The Creole that they bought after the birth of their second daughter, Allegra (the couple also shared daughter Alessandra).
According to the former socialite, things took a turn when her late ex-husband’s father, Rodolfo, died in 1983, leaving his son with his 50 percent stake in the family business. “Maurizio got crazy. Until then I was his chief adviser about all Gucci matters. But he wanted to be the best, and he stopped listening to me,” Patrizia told The Guardian.
With tensions mounting between the couple, things imploded in 1985, when Maurizio told his wife he was going on a business trip. He never returned home, entering a new relationship instead with a woman named Paola Franchi. Things got worse for the Gucci business, too, and in 1993, the entrepreneur was forced to sell his shares in the company. “I was angry with Maurizio about many, many things at that time,” Patrizia told The Guardian. “But above all, this. Losing the family business. It was stupid. It was a failure. I was filled with rage, but there was nothing I could do."
As the film documents, the one-time lovebirds divorced in 1994. Just two years later, Patrizia was convicted of and sentenced to 29 years in prison for her involvement in Maurizio's death in 1995 (she was released in 2016). "If I could see Maurizio again I would tell him that I love him because he is the person who has mattered most to me in my life,” she later told the Guardian, adding, “I think he’d say the feeling wasn’t mutual.”
Maurizio Gucci and Paolo Franchi
In his final years, Maurizio found love with his girlfriend, Paolo, with whom he not only shared a home in 1990 but her son, Charly, from a previous marriage. The twosome, who had planned to marry, met years prior and ran into each other once more in adulthood. They reportedly bonded over their failed marriages—he with Patrizia, and she with ex-husband Giorgio Colombo. “We fell in love immediately,” Paolo later told The Guardian through reported tears. “Maurizio used to tell me that we were two halves of the same apple.”
Though she was accused of marrying for money, the fashion designer says their connection was the real deal. “Actually, my previous husband, whom I left for Maurizio, was even richer, so it was all nonsense.” Tragically, their relationship ended in 1995 with Maurizio's death, an infamous event that eventually inspired the House of Gucci movie.
Paolo Gucci and Yvonne Moschetto
Of all the Gucci romances on this list, Maurizio’s cousin Paolo Gucci, the son of Aldo and Olwen Gucci, just might take the cake for the sweetest origin story. As his daughter Patrizia Gucci wrote in her book Gucci: A Successful Dynasty As Recounted By a Real Gucci, her parents met in 1949 at the party of a mutual friend in Rome. Though they never spoke, Paolo was reportedly so taken with his future wife Yvonne Moschetto that he showed up on a bench outside of her window a few days later, which he visited for three days straight. Months later, he wrote her a letter from England, confessing his affection and going so far as to swear to end it all if she refused to meet him back in Rome upon his return.
Naturally, Yvonne accepted and their courtship lasted for years (sometimes in secret) before finally exchanging their vows in 1952. They lived together in Florence with their two daughters, Elisabetta and Patrizia. Paolo, who was fired from his position as the Gucci company’s vice president in 1980 for using the business’s name for his own personal ventures, moved on.
10. Paulo Gucci and Jenny Puddefoot
Paolo’s relationship with Jenny Gucci (née Puddefoot), reportedly began in 1977 when Jenny was an opera student in Florence, Italy. Their love was a fast and furious one: The couple wed in Haiti within the first nine months. They went on to spend more than 10 years together, many of which Jenny remembered fondly in her book, Gucci Wars: How I Survived Murder and Intrigue at the Heart. "'It was absolutely bloody marvelous being Mrs. Gucci!" she wrote. There were no drawbacks at all.'"
Things reportedly ended for the pair after they welcomed a daughter, Gemma Gucci, and their relationship concluded in separation in 1990 when Paolo began an affair with a young woman named Penny Armstrong (that union resulted in two children, Alyssa and Gabrielle).