Wednesday, August 2, 2017



PATRICIA GUCCI wrote about her childhood,
her mother BRUNA PALOMBO, and her parents relationship in her book,
"In The Name of Gucci."
She has done well after some soul searching as the
acknowledged love child of ALDO GUCCI.

Image from Google Images and appears in the book which is C Patricia Gucci.

BRUNA PALOMBO's story is that of the CLASSIC MISTRESS, the woman who becomes the Mistress of a successful older man when she is young and is financially secure and cared for, for the rest of her life.  She never needs to have another man for all the years that this man is alive and she is financially cared for beyond his death.  She is very much like a traditional wife in that way.  She doesn't have much experience in relationships with men prior to meeting him.  She doesn't feel the need to seek other relationships, even when he does.

Bruna Palombo was seduced by Aldo Gucci, founder of the famous fashion house that specialized in shoes, luggage, carry bags, and accessories, when he was her boss and she was a youthful virgin with a fiancée. She was raised to be a proper Italian girl who would go along with the usual plan of loyalty and faithfulness to just one man but there were red flags that her relationship with her fiancée had been played out and would not result in happiness.

Her mother suspected something was going on between her daughter and Aldo while she was still living at home.  Maybe it was the occasional expensive and fine gift she had been given that she brought home.  Bruna's father died and perhaps it was pragmatic of her mother to not protest too much either when it became clear she would not marry her fiancée and be with Aldo.

Instead of marriage, which he could not offer her since he already was married to his first wife, Olwen Price, with whom Aldo and had three sons, he offered her the next best thing, to be his Mistress. Not long after this he predictably retired her. 

Aldo established a second household and family with Bruno in Britain, where their only child, daughter Patricia, went to school.  He was sure to visit them as much as possible, which was generally about once a month for a long weekend. Patricia says that they were so happy during his visits, but between those visits they just went on with their daily lives, a mother and daughter alone, without that happiness.

Aldo had a secret, and like many men who are the founders of families and family businesses, and are much older than their Mistress, there were employees who knew or suspected what was going on, who were sure to either accept this relationship of his or stay out of his private life. This was none of their business.

The day would come when his wife, the former Olwen Price, and first family would have to accept things as they were, because Aldo acknowledged Patricia. He wanted to live more openly with Bruna.  He wanted Patricia to meet her half brothers and slowly integrate this beautiful and intelligent daughter into the Gucci family business in some way, which he did as she reached adulthood herself and he expanded to America.  As a teenager Patricia went to boarding school and spent summers with friends, so she and her mom were living separate lives. As an adult she felt she had been deprived of love as a child.  She did move forward into becoming a Gucci public relations person, going to events to represent the Gucci company and her father.

Aldo Gucci had also seduced Olwen in 1927 when she was working for a personal assistant to Princess Elizabeth of Romania, who felt obligated to protect her.  It was the princess who had shown up in Florence, Italy to speak to Aldo's father, who had begun the Gucci empire as a small family business of leather luxury goods. His father considered him to be a womanizer and feared he would hurt the family reputation.  Aldo married Olwen.

Patricia describes her mother Bruna as a gentle and perhaps fragile woman who did live for and around Aldo and who appreciated fine things but also hated, but endured, social people and parties.  She was a private and retiring person, who I suspect was also depressed.  Patricia turned out to be the more gregarious person, like her father, whose personality was very much a part of his success.

Olwen Price, Aldo's wife, was also a loyal and faithful Italian woman who did not want a divorce.  The sons were in their forties when Patricia finally met them.  Olwen seemed to be afraid to make an issue of Bruna, accepting that Italian men thought it acceptable to have a mistress. However, she did let Bruna know she knew about her and Patricia, that they were no secret to her. A go between told Bruna it would be best if she turned Patricia over to Olwen's care. So Aldo separated the two women and families by establishing Bruna in England.

Patricia got her independence and lived apart from her parents.  As an adult, she felt her mother had been unable to cope with raising her, that Bruna was dependent on Aldo for absolutely everything and rather helpless.

Eventually the plan was for Olwen to stay in Italy and for Aldo and Bruna to leave Britain and live together in Palm Beach, Florida. This they did. It was as if Bruna was his wife in America.  He publically referred to her as his wife there.  He also managed to stage a marriage ceremony that was questionable.

In November of 1981, twenty five years after they first met, Aldo married Bruna in a hotel suite.  He denied that he had married her to his sons.  Meanwhile, Olwen fought for her marriage. Aldo found out his marriage to Olwen might be invalid but it was, so that invalidated this "marriage" to Bruna. "Someone went to England to obtain the marriage certificate there and seventy-three year old Olwen took it to Rome and recorded the document there." (197) Yet Bruna was not entirely without feeling for Olwen.  She insisted that Aldo call her every Sunday and not neglect her. (198)

For both Olwen and Bruna, who came to accept that they were man sharing and had very different relationships with him, it was the fact that Aldo had yet another Mistress that threatened to unsettle everyone's existence.

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Carolyn Price said...

The info on Olwen Price is incorrect. She was from a welsh family. During the war she was a resistance fighter in I believe first France and then Italy. I know this because she was my father’s cousin. He met her and her father on an extended visit to Wales in the early fifties while she was visiting her father.

Missy said...

My information was taken from the book, I believe. Thank you for the correction. Missy