Story at a glance

  • Interest in Gucci products surged after the release of “House of Gucci,” which tells the real-life story of Patrizia Reggiani, who hired a hitman to kill her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci.
  • Gucci did not formally endorse the film, but had several close ties to it.
  • Brands can benefit from such publicity, whether they choose to engage in it or not, one expert says.

Interest in the Italian luxury fashion brand Gucci has skyrocketed since Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci” film was released last week, despite the film’s mixed reviews from critics and the real-life figures it portrays.

Internet searches for Gucci clothing were up 73 percent week-over-week, according to the retail aggregator lovethesales, and searches for Gucci slides were up 75 percent. Demand for Gucci bags spiked, with searches up 257 percent over the previous week, and searches for pinstripe suits, worn by Jared Leto’s Paolo Gucci in the film, were up 245 percent.

Although the film has not been formally endorsed by Gucci, it does star Salma Hayek, who is married to François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of Gucci’s parent company, Kering. Leto is also a brand ambassador for Gucci and a friend of the company’s creative director, Alessandro Michele.

“Brands can benefit, if they opt to engage, or even if they don’t, in increased awareness and desirability,” Julie Zerbo, founder of The Fashion Law, told The Guardian.


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“I would argue that ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ actually elevated Anna Wintour’s persona to a mass scale. So many people walked away from that film knowing who she is,” she added. A handful of years after the release of that film, Prada went public, adding billions to its valuation.

But Gucci’s hands-off approach to the film did not benefit everyone, and Patrizia Reggiani, who orchestrated the murder of her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, on which the film is based, told the Italian news agency Ansa in March she was “rather annoyed” with Lady Gaga, who plays her in the movie.

Gaga took on the role, Reggiani said, “without having had the consideration and sensibility to come and meet me.”

“They need me,” she told La Repubblica in 2014. “I still feel like a Gucci – in fact, the most Gucci of them all.”


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Published on Nov 29, 2021