As the only granddaughter of Guccio Gucci, founder of the world-famous Gucci brand, fashion and design is unequivocally part of Patricia Gucci’s DNA. When her father Aldo (who would turn Gucci into a global name) was a young boy, his father placed a swatch of leather under his nose and said, “This is the scent of your future!”. Just as Aldo learned from Guccio, so Patricia did from her father, becoming the “new face of Gucci” as brand ambassador in the 1980s.
Born in London, Gucci was educated in England, Italy, and Switzerland before moving to New York to study acting. In 1982, when she was appointed to the board of Gucci, she became the first woman in the company’s history to hold such a position, and was the brand’s roving ambassador in the US and Asia.
Unlike the family label’s latest iterations, her taste skews towards the refined, the understated, and most notably, label and monogram free. Just as her grandfather perceived a need for beautifully designed luggage back in 1921, Patricia Gucci chose to use luggage as a way to channel her vision of quality without compromise, through her brand Aviteur.
“My father is a constant source of inspiration,” says Patricia, “not only because of what he achieved, but because of his attention to detail and quest for perfection. ‘Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten,’ he is famously quoted as saying, and this is a principle I followed when I set out to create my Carry-On. In this disposable age, it’s nice to have objects that last a lifetime.”
“Above all, I wanted something that was cutting-edge,” says Patricia. “We’re constantly on the move, yet walking through airports, the luggage you see is generic, with no real personality. A Carry-On should be no different than a designer handbag or briefcase. When you get home, you shouldn’t feel like it has to be hidden away.”
Here, we delve into Patricia Gucci’s suitcase psyche…
What is the first trip you remember taking?
I’ve been on trips for one reason or another ever since I was a baby and perhaps for that reason, I can’t cast my mind back to the very first one. All I know is that my mother took me on a flight from London to Rome when I was just 28 days old, which in those days was quite an anomaly.
What’s your most memorable trip and why?
It has to be flying from London to New York on Concorde in the 1980s. Being greeted by stewardesses with champagne and caviar was fabulous! There was an elegance about travelling that is all but gone today.
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Where or what is your escape?
The Gstaad valley is the ultimate sanctuary for me. The peace and beauty of the mountains is extremely soothing, and the trials of everyday life seem less strenuous there somehow.
What’s your favourite hotel?
It’s difficult to single out one, it really depends on where I am. In Paris I like Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, in New York it’s The Mark, and in Florence it’s the Four Seasons – the rooms, the grounds, the restaurant, and the staff are amazing.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…
Brazil. I’d love to spend a week on the beach in Rio.
What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?
Sailing in the Mediterranean with close friends on a super-yacht.
Where do you get your holiday inspiration?
From conversations with people, or reading articles on personalities I am interested in.
My top bucket-list destination is…
I’ve never been to South America, so Peru, Chile, and Argentina.
If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?
The Indian spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi (aka “Amma”).
How do you switch off?
I go on long walks with my dog Lola or play the New York Times Spelling Bee – I’m hooked!
What is your jet-lag recovery tip?
Drink lots of water before and after your trip and always try to have regular meals at the usual times in your destination time zone.
Who is your favourite travel companion?
My boyfriend Greg and our dog Lola. We go pretty much everywhere together.
What is your number one packing tip?
I layer my clothes with tissue paper and dry-cleaning covers – it really helps to eliminate creases.
What item of clothing/accessory is a suitcase stalwart?
My backlit magnifying mirror by Simple Human.
What is your most treasured purchase from your travels?
An emerald ring I bought in India. It has superpowers.
Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?
Home is Geneva and anyone visiting must take a walk through the old town, which dates to the twelfth century and is extremely charming. The cafés in Bourg-du-Four are great for people watching, my favourite lunch spot is Café du Centre (best oysters in town), and there are all kinds of curiosity shops and art galleries to pop into.
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What’s on your travel playlist?
Lately it’s been meditation music for flights and Spotify’s SMFR IV on arrival.
What is your ultimate bucket list destination?
I’d love to do a whistle-stop tour of Japan, Korea, and China.
First thing that comes to your mind…
My Aviteur Cristallo Weekend Bag Mini.
Beach or City Break?
Packing: roll or fold?
Definitely fold. Is rolling your clothes really a thing?
In-flight book or in-flight film?
Music or podcasts?
Time filler on a long-haul flight?
Movies and sleep.
Holiday tipple of choice?
Aperol Spritz (more prosecco, less Aperol).
Ultimate holiday treat?
Holiday read of choice?
On Time and Water by the Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason. Climate change is an emergency, and this book tackles the issue in an emotional and pragmatic manner. A great read for anyone who cares about the ocean and, well, our planet.