Lady Gaga took to Instagram to post a look of herself in character as Patrizia Reggiani with her onscreen husband, Adam Driver (playing Maurizio Gucci), in Ridley Scott’s Gucci biopic and, of course, the costumes are sensational.
Driver’s gorgeous cable-knit jumper and Gaga’s furry hat and copious jewellery are just a sartorial taster of what’s to come when the film is released in November 2021. Jared Leto, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons are among the other stars set to play members of the Gucci family.
The film tells the story of how Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renown fashion designer Guccio Gucci.
It’s a dramatic story of love, betrayal, extravagant wealth, high fashion, revenge and murder.
By way of backstory: Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani married 24-year-old Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of Gucci founder Guccio Gucci. Over the following decade and a half, they had two daughters, fought (and won) a high-profile legal battle for control of the Gucci brand. They were regular fixtures in the Italian social pages, thanks to their glamorous lifestyle and Reggiani’s penchant for excesses of jeweller and statement sunglasses.
If you’ve heard the quote, “I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle,” she’s the one that said it.
The press called her “Lady Gucci” and gleefully charted her exorbitance. In her halcyon days, she would reportedly spend £9,000 a month on just orchids. She would sail between private Caribbean islands on The Creole, their 200-foot yacht, and flit to her Manhattan penthouse on a whim. Their glittering world also included a chalet in Saint Moritz, a home in Acapulco and a farm in Connecticut.
In 1983, Maurizio’s father, Rodolfo, died and Maurizio inherited his father’s 50% stake in Gucci. That’s the point in the story when things start to turn sour.
Their marriage broke down in 1985, but the divorce was a protracted legal battled for nearly a decade. Gucci left for a short business trip to Florence and never came back. He had abandoned the family for his younger lover. Reggiani has said that she learned of the abandonment, she said, from a family doctor.
Further betrayal followed. A few years after the separation, Maurizio sold a swathe of his family’s shares in the Gucci brand to Bahrain-based investment banking firm Investcorp for a reported $135 million.
By 1993, at roughly the same time that Reggiani was awarded about $1 million a year in a divorce settlement, he sold his remaining stake in the fashion house to Investcorp for around $150-£200 million, ending Gucci’s Italian ownership and making Maurizio very wealthy indeed.
Two years later, 46-year-old Maurizio was fatally shot by a hitman in his office lobby in Milan. Despite suspicion falling immediately on Reggiani, the murder investigation took years to resolve. Eventually, Reggiani was sentenced to 26 years in prison for her role in Maurizio’s death and dubbed the Black Widow by the press.
She still maintains her innocence and currently lives in Milan, where she gets by on an annual grant from Maurizio’s estate.