(ImaxTree; Getty Images) Images from Gucci's fall 2013 show at Milan Fashion Week; Buzz Bissinger, fashion victim
You and I may best know Buzz Bissinger
as the best-selling author of Friday Night Lights,
a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and the former radio host of The Buzz Bissinger Show
on CBS Radio, but the folks at Gucci
HQ in Florence, Italy, know him as a walking wallet—one of their best menswear customers, ever
. For serious.In GQ's April issue, Bissinger confesses
to owning 81 leather jackets, 75 pairs of boots, 41 pairs of leather pants, 32 pairs of haute couture
jeans, 10 evening jackets, 115 pairs of leather gloves, a pair of pants that cost $5,000, and a $22,000 coat. He's such a good customer, in fact, that earlier this year, Gucci flew him—one of five hand-picked high-rolling private clients, all-expenses paid—to Milan and Florence on a whirlwind men's fashion week trip where he sat front-row at the Gucci fall 2013 show, visited the Gucci showroom, attended a lavish dinner overlooking the Duomo, had private fittings for a made-to-measure suit, took private tours of the Gucci Museo and the Gucci Casellina, and stayed at the Park Hyatt Milan and the Four Seasons in Florence. They also threw in a couple of crocodile accessory gifts for good measure.
The most expensive leather jacket I own, a Gucci ostrich skin, cost $13,900. The most expensive evening jacket I own, also from Gucci, black napa leather with gold threading, cost $9,800. The most expensive leather pants, $5,600. The most expensive jeans, $2,500. The most expensive pair of boots, $2,600. The most expensive pair of gloves, $1,015. Gucci by far makes up the highest percentage of my collection.
But it's not just Gucci—no, it seems like Bissinger has a full-blowing shopping addiction that he can both enumerate and chronicle:
I own forty-three pieces of Gucci—twelve leather jackets, six evening jackets, five pairs of pants, six pairs of boots, four shirts, seven pairs of gloves, and three scarves. I own items from Acne, Affliction, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Balmain, Band of Outsiders, Belstaff, Bottega Veneta, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Charles David, Diane von Furstenberg, Helmut Lang, Ines, Jan Hilmer, J.Crew, Jimmy Choo, Jitrois, Jos. A. Bank, Joseph, Junker Designs, Loewe, Lucchese, Marc Jacobs, Mr. S Leather, Nike, Northbound Leather, Prada, Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Saint Laurent, 7 For All Mankind, Thomas Wylde, Valentino, Versace, and Wesco.
And, because he keeps "meticulous track" of his finances, he's even worked out the grand total on how much his wardrobe has cost him from the years 2010 to 2012 (two years, mind)—$587,412.97.Check out the whole brilliant and sordid story right here at GQ.com
—to be fair, Bissinger includes a good dose of self-analysis, attributing the beginnings of his shopping addiction to the demise of his sexual relationship with his wife and his experimentation in alternative scenes (he had a relationship with a dominatrix, explored the underground sex club scene, experimented with men and tranvestism).
Still, there has been progress. The thrill of what I own lasts more than a single fitting. I turn out every day in the rocker look that has become totally comfortable. During the Gucci trip a fellow invitee said I looked like "Bon Jovi," a compliment that at this point in my life means more to me than any piece of writing. Both my wife and my therapist have refused to let me pass the beast off any longer as some temporary compulsion. I have agreed to go to meetings for sex addiction, since clothing and sex for me have become one. But I am only going to stem the addiction, not change the way clothing makes me feel depending on how I want to feel on any particular day. I am sometimes afraid, the beast nowhere near bottomed out, wetting its beckoning lips, knowing me better than I know myself.