For a man whose very name had come to symbolize elegance, Maurizio Gucci's death was sadly déclassé

For a man whose very name had come to symbolize elegance, Maurizio Gucci’s death was sadly déclassé.

The 46-year-old third-generation scion of the Italian fashion dynasty had left his Milan apartment just after 8:30 a.m. on March 27, 1995, for the short walk to his office 50 yards away. Stylishly clad in a suit and tie — and, of course, Gucci loafers — he strode past the public gardens and into the building at 20 Via Palestro.

But as he headed up the short flight of stairs, witnesses said, an equally well-dressed middle-aged man fell into step behind him. Armed with a 7.65-mm pistol, the man fired twice at Gucci, hitting him once in the shoulder and once in the lower back.

Gucci spun around, collapsed onto the red marble floor and lay there as the gunman shot him once in the face before fleeing.

“It was clearly a premeditated murder,” said Italian police Maj. Paolo La Forgia.

It took nearly two years for the world to learn the answer: Gucci’s ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, who was found guilty of being the mastermind, along with four accomplices, in the murder plot. (She has maintained she was wrongfully convicted.)

The case’s twists and turns — and the greed, lust and secrets in Gucci’s own family — are the subject of the premiere of People Magazine Investigates: Crimes of Fashion, airing Monday night on Investigation Discovery and exclusively previewed above.

• Watch People Magazine Investigates: Crimes of Fashion premiering on Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

The scene of Maurizio Gucci’s murder in Milan in 1995
| Credit: LaPresse/OLYCOM
Retrospective of murdered fashion designer Maurizio Gucci, Italy
Maurizio Gucci in the 1980s
| Credit: IPA/REX/Shutterstock

At the heart of the slaying was a story of a former fashion mogul whose ruthless business tactics made enemies of his relatives but secured him control of an internationally renowned and highly lucrative luxury-goods business — until his mounting debts forced him to liquidate his stake for more millions.

At the time of his death, Gucci was working to remake himself as a casino magnate in Switzerland.

As one person familiar with the case says in the preview above, of Gucci: “He was quite happy to betray his family.”

People Magazine Investigates: Crimes of Fashion, The Assassination of Maurizio Gucci airs Monday (9 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery.