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How Gucci’s ‘toxic family’ feuds played out in its extravagant fashions

Stacy Johnson



How Gucci’s ‘toxic family’  feuds played out in its extravagant fashions

Gucci! “It was a name that sounded so sweet, so seductive,” purrs Lady Gaga in the opening of “House of Gucci,” the new movie about the 1995 murder that rocked the historic fashion house.

“[It was] synonymous with wealth, style, power,” she continues in voiceover. “But the name was a curse, too.”

What an understatement! “House of Gucci” unfolds like a Shakespearean tragedy, filled with backstabbing, betrayal, murder and more — all done in the most extravagant, over-the-top opulence: silk cravats and piles of jewels, enormous furs and va-va-voom dresses, double-G Gucci logos on ev-er-y-thing.

“What a toxic family they were,” Janty Yates, the costume designer for the film, told The Post. She added that the real-life personalities were just as flagrant — and flamboyant — as their on-screen counterparts: “We took [their looks] fairly directly from photographic reference.”

Lady Gaga is a social-climbing fashionista in “House of Gucci.”©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

There was Aldo Gucci, played here by Al Pacino, the gregarious, larger-than-life leader with a penchant for women and tax evasion. There was Aldo’s son, Paolo — a paunchy, balding Jared Leto — the wayward heir who betrayed his 81-year-old dad and put him in prison in 1986. There was tragic matinee idol Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons), who would disown his only son, Maurizio (Adam Driver), when he decided to marry beneath his station.

And there was Patrizia Reggiani (Gaga), the nouveau riche villainess who captured Maurizio’s heart, drove him to take over Gucci and had him killed in cold blood when he had no use for her anymore.

In 1959, Gucci was a go-to spot for the upper crust, including Grace Kelly and husband Prince Ranier of Monaco. Mondadori via Getty Images

They all dressed their parts to the hilt, and infused the real house of Gucci with its singular flash and pizazz.

“It was a luxury house that had a jet-set, international audience,” said Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Lots of movie stars like Elizabeth Taylor and celebrities like Jackie Kennedy bought Gucci … It was glamorous.”

Founded in 1921 by former bellhop Guccio Gucci, Gucci initially provided leather luggage and goods to rich travelers. Guccio himself had rather snazzy style — always sporting a luxe gold watch chain over his enormous belly — but his sons outshone him.

His eldest, Aldo, would turn Gucci into an empire, creating its iconic Horsebit loafers, bamboo-handle handbag and red-and-green-striped branding. (He also started the rumor that Gucci came from a family of noble saddle-makers, a myth that persists to this day.)

Al Pacino plays the natty Aldo in “House of Gucci.”©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Aldo was very sartorially elegant. He was 6-foot-2. He was a ladies’ man,” said Yates of the womanizing, blingy man about town. “He always had a buttonhole and a ‘boofy’ [voluminous] silk pocket handkerchief, and a non-matching waistcoat and a big tie.”

Aldo modernized Gucci, and made it bigger and more in-your-face, while his younger brother Rodolfo (a dignified Jeremy Irons) had a more romantic style — all plush velvet jackets in vibrant jewel tones, silk cravats and robes and (in the movie) luxurious pashmina shawls.

Lady Gaga and Jared Leto in “House of Gucci”©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Rodolfo had a very different sensibility,” said Sara Gay Forden, author of the book “House of Gucci,” which inspired the movie. Rodolfo, a former silent-film star, “was very much a reserved, patrician gentleman,” Forden told The Post. “He hadn’t even wanted to go into the family business in the beginning — he fancied himself an actor — and he wore smoking jackets and brocades.”

While Aldo originated the house’s showier designs — like the double-G logo canvas bags — Rodolfo created the brand’s now-iconic Flora print, specifically as a scarf for Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco.

Kelly “had come to the [Milan] store, and he tried to give her a bamboo-handle bag, which was their signature product, but she demurred and said, ‘Oh, no — that’s too much. Just something small … Maybe a scarf,’” said Forden. Gucci didn’t make scarves at the time, but that didn’t deter Rodolfo, who called a friend, the artist Vittorio Accornero, and asked him to design a scarf with “a cornucopia of flowers that would be fit for a princess.” 

Lady Gaga plays the flashy Patrizia Reggiani in “House of Gucci.”©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

Rodolfo’s melancholy manner stemmed from the death of his beloved wife and co-star, Sandra, who died at age 44 of uterine cancer, leaving the widowed Rodolfo with 5-year-old Maurizio. Rodolfo never married again, and he spent the rest of his life working on a movie crafted from scenes from his and Sandra’s films and home movies. He was so protective of Maurizio that he had his butler follow the boy around in his car and spy on him. 

Gucci started making scarfs at the request of Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.Bettmann Archive

Maurizio — tall and elegant like his father, in Savile Row suits and Gucci belts and loafers — remained devoted to Rodolfo until his father disinherited him for marrying the striving, crass Patrizia. Yet the two eventually reconciled, and Maurizio, horrified by the vulgar expansion of Gucci under his uncle Aldo and spurred by his ambitious wife, vowed to bring Rodolfo’s good taste back to the brand.

Gucci didn’t start hawking clothes until the early 1970s, and Aldo had put his son, Paolo (Jared Leto), in charge of designing the ready-to-wear collections — mainly tunics sewn from the brand’s famous scarves and lots of flashy leather jackets and skirts.

“These are the years of Studio 54 and Liza Minnelli wearing Gucci leather miniskirts,” said Forden. “So it was hip — it was the epitome of cool.”

But by the 1980s, Paolo’s relationship with his father and uncle had soured. Paolo wanted to bring Gucci in a more youthful, trend-driven direction, and he himself exhibited a more colorful, even garish style. 

Jared Leto plays Paolo, an over-the-top dandy, in “House of Gucci.”©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

“They called him ‘the dandy’s dandy,’” said costumer Yates. “We did Aldo tastefully dandy, and we did Paolo tastelessly dandy — with clashing waistcoats and big windowpane checks and big billowing ties.”

Yates borrowed several items from the Gucci archive from this era for the film. One ensemble is a leather-trimmed tunic and matching pants covered in the double-G logo that Gaga wears in the scene where she discovers her maid carrying a Gucci knockoff. Yet Patrizia herself — at first dazzled by the Gucci name — rarely wore Gucci clothes; the brand had become rather unfashionable.

“She wore Saint Laurent, she wore Dior; she basically just Christmas tree-ed herself up with her jewelry,” said Yates. (Patrizia even designed a short-lived jewelry line for the label, though it proved too ostentatious even for the family.) Still, she wanted to make Gucci great again, and pushed Maurizio to, as Gaga voices in the film, “take out the trash.”

“Like many fashion companies, Gucci overextended itself, and that made it seem less elite,” said FIT’s Steele. From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, “they were pumping out more things to wider markets, and because of that, the prestige level went down. And then there was the shocking murder. [The brand] just seemed less shiny and glittery.”

Adam Driver plays Maurizio Gucci in “House of Gucci.”©MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

“People just didn’t know what Gucci meant anymore,” said Forden. “Is it a plastic GG toilet kit, or is it a really special leather bag with a bamboo handle?”

Gwyneth Paltrow wore a plush red Gucci suit, designed by Tom Ford, to the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.FilmMagic, Inc

Maurizio tried to restore some elegance to the label. But he never got to see his vision take: After tricking his family members into selling their shares of the company, then divorcing Patrizia, he ran Gucci to the ground and was ousted by the time creative director Tom Ford debuted his sensational 1995 collection for the brand. Maurizio was killed just weeks later.

Ironically, Ford restored Gucci not by running away from its excesses but by embracing them. Yates and her team re-created moments from his early iconic runways: the navel-baring silk shirts, the velvet jumpsuits and even Gucci thongs that catapulted the brand into the height of fashion.

It’s a tack that has served Gucci’s current creative director, Alessandro Michele, well. He’s reinvented the house’s staples, dreaming up fur-lined Horsebit shoes and GG-emblazoned garments with an extravagantly magpie, gender-fluid bent. 

“I feel like in a way Gucci’s come full circle and really connected its past with its present,” said Forden. And it has fully embraced its scandalous past: “If you look on the runway, the models are wearing Maurizio Gucci’s signature aviator glasses.”

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Save on beauty and more with Saks Fifth Avenue Cyber Monday 2021 deals

Stacy Johnson



Save on beauty and more with Saks Fifth Avenue Cyber Monday 2021 deals

NY Post may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and/or when you make a purchase.

Our bellies are full, the turkey is gone and Thanksgiving is over. But that doesn’t mean the deals are done. In fact, Cyber Monday reigns as one of the largest 24-hour shopping days of the year, and we are ready to join in on the fun.

Top brands like Therabody, YETI, Lululemon and more are dropping major deals, but our favorite Cyber Monday retailer to shop is none other than Saks Fifth Avenue.

This Cyber Monday, Saks Fifth Avenue is offering a very exclusive spend and get promotion. Get $50 off for every $200 you spend with code CYBER21SF. But act fast, as this deal is only valid on Nov. 29.

If that’s not enough and you need a little extra incentive, then look no further, as Saks Fifth Avenue beauty is also 15% off for Cyber Monday with code CBTY21SF. 

And we know how quickly deals come and go on this hectic shopping day, so we listed our top picks below. Happy saving!

Best Saks Fifth Avenue Cyber Monday Deals For Women

Briogeo Detox & Repair 2-Piece Hair Care Set, $54 (originally $60)

This two-piece set features hair essentials made to restore and maintain the long-term health of your scalp and hair. A cult favorite for a reason, this Briogeo kit includes a Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo and a Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. It’s the ideal sampler.

IRO Heldens Plaid Shacket, $495

Shackets are all the rage, and this one is made of a luxurious wool blend. Further details include a relaxed silhouette, long sleeves, drops shoulders, snap button pockets and front chest pockets.

Slip Disco Fever Holiday Love Me I’m Delicate 2-Piece Set, $89

Celebrity hairstylists, beauty experts, dermatologists and more all rely on the secret weapon of a silk pillowcase. Why? Because they minimize hair frizz, are gentle on the skin and provide a cool night’s sleep. Better yet, Slipsilk specifically has been developed and perfected for over ten years to provide the best, softest and most durable silk pillowcase on the market. 

Theory Belted Turtleneck Sweater Dress, $475

This cream-colored sweater dress is made of rib knit and is paired with a boucle skirt. Buyers can also look forward to a cozy turtleneck perfect for cool weather, short sleeves, a side zipper closure, a belt loop and an included belt. 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Noël Scented Candle Trio, $115

Maison Francis Kurkdjian brings three limited-edition fragrance candles made in France. Scents include Mon Beau Sapin, Pain d’épices and Pomme d’amour. So sit back, relax and enjoy the peace of a candle-lit room. 

Elie Tahari Cashmere Half-Zip Sweater, $445

With a warm cashmere half-zip sweater, you’ll never want to take it off — especially this one, as it features a convertible collar, long sleeves, a ribbed knit finish and an oversized silhouette. 

Faux Fur Pom-Pom Metallic Beanie, $52.50 (originally $75)

Adorned with an adorable pom-pom, this faux fur beanie is exclusively sold at Saks Fifth Avenue. Pair with some knee-high boots for an elevated look or some classic leggings for a warm night out.

Puma Mayze Classic Sneakers, $90

Stylish and comfortable, the Mayze classic sneaker will make you the best dressed in the room. Details include a stacked sole, contrasting rubber tooling, leather lining and a rubber sole. We suggest pairing the sneakers with some denim and a warm puffer jacket. 

Free People Jackie Plaid Mini Dress, $168

How adorable is this flowy dress? I’m in love! It’s cut in a soft, woven fabric and features peasant styling and smocked details. I would sang it quick if I were you, as Free People deals are known to go fast.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Blush, $32

If you’re all about a low-maintenance beauty routine, then this is the product for you.

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Blush is made of a lightweight formula that creates a color-from-within look. It also diffuses and blurs the appearance of pores and imperfections. Simply glide on some color and use the dual end of the product to blend it out.

Best Saks Fifth Avenue Cyber Monday Deals For Men

Gucci Guilty Black 2-Piece Eau De Toilette Set, $143

Made in Spain, this deliciously scented cologne duo is a must-have. Pair the two together to bring about a feeling of passion and unpredictability. Wear them separately to create irresistibility. You can’t go wrong with these explosive Gucci scents.

Hom Ramatuelle 2-Piece Long Sleepwear Set, $90

Get cozy with this two-piece pajama set from the Ramatuelle Collection. Features include a button-up top, drawstring pants, 100% cotton material, long sleeves, a camp collar, a chest patch pocket and side pant pockets.

Puma x Rhuigi Track Jacket, $78 (originally $130)

Track jackets are in, and this Puma x Rhuigi style elevates the look to make it effortlessly trendy. With side vents, a high neck, long sleeves and a zip front, you’ll look sophisticated yet be comfortable all day long.

Jack Black The Triple Play 3-Piece Skincare Set, $49

Jack Black’s best-selling men’s products are here, and you can get them all in one single holiday bundle. The set includes a Face Buff, Double-Duty Face Moisturizer and an All-Over Wash.

New Balance Winterized Anorak Jacket, $135

Great for the fall weather and the approaching winter season, this nylon puffer jacket features a mock neck, a quarter-zip closure, side zip pockets and long sleeves. Choose from two various colors to find your perfect match. 

Theory Stanton Crewneck Sweater, $281.25 (originally $375)

Made from an alpaca blend, this oat crewneck is sure to keep you warm. Pair it with straight jeans and a classic dress shoe for a luxurious feel or dress it down with some sneakers

Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb 2-Piece Cologne Set, $120

This addictive men’s cologne brings the allure of power and confidence. The set includes a 3 oz Eau de Toilette spray and a Eae de Toilette travel spray while encompassing notes of bright bergamot and pink pepper.

Stone Island Leather Mid-Top Sneakers, $528

Everyone needs a good pair of white sneakers, and these are it. Made of leather, they are crisp and clean. They also feature a round toe, lace-up vamp, leather textile lining and a rubber sole. And if you’re looking for a bit of extra height, it’s your lucky day, as there is a 1-inch platform.

Theory Burton Crewneck Sweater, $258.75 (originally $345)

Choose from three various colors and easily style this wool and cashmere crewneck. Featuring a striped pattern, ribbed cuffs, long sleeves and a pullover style, it’s a must-have.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Men’s Grooming On-The-Go 3-Piece Set, $40

The perfect skincare routine for men is found within this Kiehl’s box. Products include a face wash, moisturizer and body scrub soap. Each product includes doses of vitamin C perfect for boosting radiance and smoothing skin texture.

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Inside fashion designer Virgil Abloh’s private life with wife Shannon

Stacy Johnson



Inside fashion designer Virgil Abloh’s private life with wife Shannon

For many in the fashion world Virgil Abhol, 41, was a maverick, a fashion outsider who shot to fame for his headlining-making catwalks. Dubbed the “Karl Lagerfeld for millennials” he climbed from relative obscurity to the top of his game. He was down with the coolest kids, hanging out with best friend Kanye West, “crashing” fashion weeks, disrupting the industry and founding one of the world’s hippest streetwear brands, Off-White — a label which became as famous for its designer hoodies and t-shirts as its huge social media following. In 2018 he became the first African-American artistic director for French fashion house Louis Vuitton menswear. 

The shock news of the 41-year-old’s death from cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare, aggressive form of cancer, sent reverberations around the fashion world last night. “We are devastated to announce the passing of our beloved Virgil Abloh,” his wife of 12 years, Shannon Abloh, said in a statement on the designer’s Instagram page. “He chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments.” He is also survived by his children Lowe Abloh and Grey Abloh, his sister Edwina Abloh and his parents Nee and Eunice Abloh.

Virgil Abloh appears at the end of his Spring/Summer 2019 collection for Off-White during Mens’ Fashion Week in Paris. That same year he was diagnosed with the cancer that killed him at 41.REUTERS

Shannon Abloh (above) met her husband at school and lived in Chicago while he worked in Paris.Christopher Peterson/SplashNews

As news spread around the world, tributes came from far and wide, with A-lister friends including Pharrell Williams, Victoria Beckham and Kanye paying their respects. But if his fashion career was star-packed, his home life was the complete opposite. Born in Rockport near Chicago, Abloh was the son of Ghanaian immigrant parents. His father worked at a paint company and mother, Eunice, as a seamstress. She taught Abloh how to use a sewing machine, and at a young age he began designing T-shirts. 

Designer Virgil Abloh, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Karlie Kloss during the finale of the Off-White show as part of Paris Fashion Week.Getty Images

He met his childhood sweetheart Shannon (née Sundberg) when they were both still at school. Later the pair moved to Wisconsin where Shannon studied management and marketing at Edgewood College and Abhol began a civil engineering degree at the University of Wisconsin at Madison before studying for a Master’s of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Abloh and Kanye West (middle, with estranged wife Kim Kardashian) were frequent artistic collaborators.Best Image/BACKGRID

Virgil rarely spoke about his wife in interviews, but there was never a doubt how strong their bond was. According to reports, after a 10-year courtship, Abloh decided to pop the question but realized he would have to be creative in taking her by surprise. He asked if she could drive with him to the airport for a work trip like she normally did and while they were swapping over driver’s seats, he caught her completely off guard and got down on one knee. “I was completely surprised – I couldn’t believe it!” Shannon said at the time.

Shannon Abloh often sat front row at her husband’s shows.Matteo Prandoni/

The pair married in 2009 at the Chicago Four Seasons, the same year as Abloh decided architecture wasn’t for him after all and found a job interning at fashion label, Fendi. It was a big family wedding, with Abloh reportedly leaving most of the arrangements to the bride, while still playing a “supportive role.” The bride wore ivory-hued Amsale and violet-blue shoes, the bridegroom, a tux and white tie, and the pair sat at different guest tables for each course to make sure they chatted to all their family and friends. During the ceremony the pair read out emotional special promises to each other. “The funny part is that we wrote them separately — and didn’t share them with each other — but they were very similar!” Shannon told bridal magazine, Inside Weddings, at the time. 

Virgil Abloh and his wife Shannon chat backstage after the Off-White Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show.Getty Images

Recalling her husband’s wedding speech, she said: “His words were so heartfelt and sincere. He had everyone laughing, crying, and then smiling… it’s the one moment I was dying to see on our wedding video.” Virgil humbly added that one of the best parts of the wedding was the people who helped make it happen: “The stress and strain never outweighed their good-natured hearts. More than anything, this was what created the most special evening of our lives, and we are so thankful.”

Flowers are seen outside the Off-White flagship store in London.Getty Images

Throughout Virgil’s meteoric rise, Shannon, 41, largely kept out of the limelight. She was, however, a staunch supporter of her husband’s career, attending shows and red carpet events, later with their two young children, son, Grey and daughter, Lowe in tow. While her career went down a different, more conventional, path — she first worked as a media planner for Yahoo and then later as a program manager for Monster — she continued to be a regular front row fixture at all his shows.

Abloh standing between his sister, Edwina (left), and Shannon at the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show.Getty Images

The family based themselves mainly in Chicago, with Abloh shuttling back and forth, clocking up formidable air miles. If fitting family life in with manning the helm at Vuitton menswear was a balancing act, he never showed it. His private life was by and large a closed book. “I don’t want to be a celebrity designer,” he once said. “I want to keep my personal life out of it.” He was famous for his formidable work ethic — it is said he never sat still, refused to have an office and did all his work on the go by iPhone. But despite this, his million-mile-an-hour lifestyle seemed to take a toll. Under doctor’s orders, the designer announced in 2019 he was taking three months off from traveling and public appearances. “I’m shifting gears,” he said at the time. 

Shannon Abloh poses with her children Grey and Lowe, who are both under five years old, at the Off-White Menswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 show.Corbis/Getty Images

Shannon’s post on her husband’s Instagram page describes him as a “fiercely devoted father, husband, son, brother, and friend.”

The unwaveringly loyal support of his wife and family was no doubt key to his success. “Through it all, his work ethic, infinite curiosity, and optimism never wavered,” the tribute said. “Virgil was driven by his dedication to his craft and to his mission to open doors for others and create pathways for greater equality in art and design. He often said, ‘Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,’ believing deeply in the power of art to inspire future generations.” 

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Get 40% off with Cyber Monday deals on North Face jackets and more

Stacy Johnson



Get 40% off with Cyber Monday deals on North Face jackets and more

NY Post may be compensated and/or receive an affiliate commission if you buy through our links.

Cyber Monday is all about the unbelievably-low deals you can’t find any other time of the year, and the sales are sweet!

Right now, you can land exclusive YETI promotions, can’t-beat home deals, fashion must-haves and so much more.

But there is one sale going on right now you have to see to believe: The North Face Cyber Monday 2021 event.

This Cyber Monday, The North Face is offering 40% off select styles while supplies last. And yes, that includes slashed prices on their famous jackets.

To help you jump on these Cyber Monday deals before it’s too late, we rounded up the best North Face deals we could find below.

Happy shopping!

Looking for an ultra-warm jacket that will keep you cozy all winter long? If you answered yes, then this is the jacket for you. It features a customizable silhouette with a cinch-able drawcord at the waist, 550-fill down, rounded hems and zippered hand pockets.

Who doesn’t love a reversible jacket? So score this two-in-one jacket that features both a cozy and quilted material, a draft flap and zippered pockets. Choose from three great colors.

If you’re all about keeping warm while not feeling like a huge snowman, you’ll love the Women’s Explore Farther Jacket. It is made with a beautiful chevron quilted pattern, features round hems, hand pockets and 150g of synthetic insulation — without compromising your mobility.

Talk about a steal! You can bag this Tower Peak Parka for $120 off the original ticket price while having a thigh-length jacket that features internal cuffs and fur lining.

This Aconcagua Vest pairs perfectly over a long-sleeve shirt and protects against harsh winds. We also guarantee it will provide the perfect warmth-to-weight ratio while flattering your figure.

Men, did you just see the above and wish there was only one for you, too? It’s your lucky day because there is one! Choose from four color options, but act fast, as these are selling out quickly.

If you want to rock the North Face brand but don’t want something so heavy or warm, then this is your best bet. The hoodie is the ideal addition to your athleisure wardrobe and features raglan sleeves with thumb holes.

Guys, we have one for you, too. It’s versatile, made with recycled shell fabric and is great for the city and the trail alike.

Fuzzy, silky and warm is what makes the Osito Jacket what it is. Featuring an oversized collar, stretch cuffs and lightweight warmth, it’s what everyone dreams of in a zip-up. Choose from six various colors.

With a beautiful structure and detailing, the Gordon Lyons Full Zip is a heavyweight jacket that features knit fleece and insulates to the max. Plus, you can easily dress it up or down with the right shoes.

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