While everyone got the chance to watch American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, on Netflix, it made us think about dedicating a post to Versace and especially to Gianni himself.
Gianni Versace first launched the Gianni Versace Company in 1978 in Milan, Italy. Since the very beginning, his younger sister, Donatella Versace, became part of the company as a supervisor and muse. The brand’s logo is the Medusa head, because according to the Greek mythology, Medusa made everyone fall in love with her and it was impossible to fall out of it.
Gianni was first known as the “Rock n Roll” designer, due to the fact that he dressed many well-known music artists such as Elton John, Madonna, Cher, Michael Jackson, etc.
Princess Diana was close friends with Gianni and she used to wear many of his designs.
With the womenswear, menswear, children’s line and the haute couture collections, it seemed like nothing could stop the Italian designer. He also received prestigious awards such as The Silver Mask Award and the first American Fashion Oscar from the CFDA.
But on July 15th, 1997, the entire world was shocked by the news that Gianni Versace was shot and killed outside his Miami mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan.
Gianni is considered to be Cunanan’s fifth and final victim, because he killed himself eight days after Gianni’s death.
After the tragic death, Donatella Versace became the new Creative Director, and Santo Versace took over as Versace’s CEO. In an interview with the Guardian, Donatella said: “When my brother was murdered, I had the eyes of the whole world on me and 99% of them thought I wasn’t going to make it. And maybe I thought the same, at first. My brother was the king, and my whole world had crashed around me.”
Donatella continued her brother’s legacy and the fashion house produced fragrances, makeup, accessories, home décor and of course clothes.
Although Donatella created many well-known collections through her vision, time to time she brings back on the runway some of her brother’s creations, with a simple touch of modernism.
In September 2018, word was spread that Michael Kors bought Versace for $2.1 bn deal. Even though Versace now belongs to Michael Kors, Donatella remains the Creative Director of the brand.
Despite the fact that the fashion house dealt with many obstacles, no one can deny that the brand has contributed since the late 70s to make Milan the fashion capital of the world. Gianni’s legacy and contribution to the fashion industry will remain strong year after year. He even managed to steal the most beautiful models from the catwalks in Paris and bring them to Milan to pose for him and walk in his fashion shows. Models such as Naomi Campbell, Elle MacPherson, Stephanie Seymour, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, etc. were part of some of the most famous Versace fashion campaigns and advertisements.