>> Frida Giannini and Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco have publicly announced that they've been a couple for over two years. Although many fashion brands are or have been run by couples — Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge — this marks the first time the couple is not the owners of the brand but rather its employees.
Giannini, 38, who became Gucci creative director in 2006, and di Marco, 49, who joined as CEO in January 2009, became romantically involved on a trip to China; both were divorced at the time. After their relationship changed, di Marco says he went to Rome to speak to François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive of PPR, which owns Gucci; Giannini also spoke to Pinault, separately. Both say they were fully prepared to leave Gucci if required, but Pinault “was very supportive.”
Pinault says that he is not concerned if the relationship were to go south: “If something changed and one left, well, we would deal with that. . . . This is a family business – it was started by my father, and I know how that can feel and seem to the outside world, but I also know how much that makes you be strict with yourself. And I knew them, so I knew if anything this would make them more demanding with themselves.”