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The Legacy of Gianni Versace


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.

Versace sitting on the table of his study in Italy, 1985


Santo, Donatella and Gianni Versace


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.

Gianni Versace with Madonna


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.

Christy Turlington wears the Iconic Print Dress, 1991


Kate Moss glistens in Versace’s zippered bridal gown presented in his Fall/Winter 1996 collection at the Ritz in Paris.


Cindy Crawford walks the runway in a classic black and , 1992gold original Versace print


Campbell walks Paris fashion week for the Atelier Versace Fall/Winter 1995 collection, 1995


Claudia Schiffer for Versace Couture, 1994


Naomi Campbell at the 5th Annual California Fashion Industry Friends of Aids Project Benefit in honor of Versace, 1991


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.

Versace Spring 2018 Fashion Show


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.

Versace Ad Campaign, 1992


Moss for Versace Couture, 1996


Nadja Auermann and Claudia Schiffer pose in Versace for Home Signature by Richard Avedon, 1992


Karen Mulder, Linda Evangelista, Versace, and Carla Bruni, attend the Versace High Fashion Show at the Ritz in Paris, 1992




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