Memorial Day for the Italian Designer and Founder of the Versace Fashion House
December 2, 2021 is Gianni Versace’s birthday. Today marks the 75th birthday of the late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. His influence on the fashion world is immeasurable and undeniable. Gianni Versace is known for his bold designs and ideas. The Italian fashion designer made fashion history by creating a supermodel on the runway at the Fall/Winter 1991 show and increasing women’s sex appeal by debuting the Miss S&M collection in Fall 1992. But who was Gianni Versace?
Gianni Versace Brand History
When was Versace founded? Gianni founded Versace in 1978. That same year he successfully launched his first womenswear collection in Milan. He hired his sister Donatella as vice president and his brother Santo as president of the company. As early as 1993, the founder of the fashion house introduced the widely known Medusa head logo.
When asked why he chose the Medusa head, he replied, “Whoever falls in love with Medusa can’t escape it.” And it’s true. After all, fans become addicted to the brand’s new products and can no longer imagine their lives without style from Versace.
Successful Brand Development
As the brand’s influence grew, so did the designer’s relationship with celebrities and supermodels. He invited stars such as Madonna, Elton John and Demi Moore to sit in the front row at his fashion shows. Gianni also invited supermodels to participate in his shows. Among them were the legendary Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington.
Gianni Versace Fashion
Versace’s couture models were created for the super-rich, but his influence spread to the broader society through diffusion lines. Stylistically accessible and instantly recognizable, Versace’s fearless models became the epitome of the 1980s and 1990s.
Versace was determined to bring casual wear to life. He added risqué elements such as bondage-like clasps or seductive pleats to gorgeously tailored suits, created alluringly tactile leather pieces and dressed men and women in stirring prints from head to toe.
The designer became world-renowned for his ultra-glamorous creations as well as spectacular theatrical costumes and innovative menswear designs. Versace’s style combines luxurious classicism with overt sexuality. Eclectic and daring, Versace was both respected and outraged.
Versace’s enormous ambition and exceptional dedication to fashion led to significant achievements. Eclectic and profligate, he showered his clothes with luxury, creating unusual combinations of materials and concepts. He combined exquisite clothing with a daring disregard for the rules of fashion.
Perhaps the most striking design of all time was the pin-up dress that Elizabeth Hurley wore to the premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994.
Personal Life of Gianni Versace
Perhaps Gianni Versace’s personal life was influenced by childhood trauma. On his way to school the boy had to pass by a brothel. The strict mother constantly scolded Gianni, if he accidentally turned his head in the direction of the place. Since then, the fear of seeing a naked woman had been fixed in Gianni’s mind. And even though Versace later connected his life with creating clothes for women, relationships with ladies frightened the fashion designer.
Be that as it may, but the personal life of Gianni Versace, despite the non-traditional orientation of the great master, developed happily.
The fashion designer’s first serious romance, although it did not turn out to be serious. A young mannequin named Paul Black preferred his lover to his own sister Donatella. After this incident, brother and sister did not communicate for over a year, and Paul soon became Donatella’s husband.
The second love story lasted until the end of Gianni Versace’s life. He was chosen by Antonio D’Amico, the head of sportswear department of Versace fashion house. It’s also known that Gianni and Antonio occasionally vacationed in threes, choosing one of his favorite models. However, such daring entertainment did not affect the relationship of lovers.
Tragedy for the Fashion World
Gianni was murdered on the morning of July 15, 1997. He was returning to his Miami Beach mansion after walking to the News Cafe for coffee when he was shot and killed by American serial killer Andrew Cunanan. That same morning, the 50-year-old killer was found dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital. After his brother’s death, his sister Donatella became the brand’s artistic director and has remained in that position ever since, even when it was acquired by Michael Kors Holdings Limited for $2.1 billion in September 2018.
Just a day after, the media was already saying that Gianni was the first to understand the value of celebrity in the front row and the value of a supermodel. He absolutely brought fashion to the international media platform.
Interesting Facts about the Fashion Designer
- He reintroduced mini skirts and unimaginably deep necklines.
- Gianni versace confessed in interviews that when he created his outfits he thought of those prostitutes that his mother forbade him to look at as a child.
- In 1996 Gianni Versace was diagnosed with inner ear cancer, but he managed to beat the disease.
- Santo, Gianni and Donatella had another sister, who is rarely mentioned in official sources. She was the third born in the family and her name was Florentina. The girl died at the age of 12 years.
- It was Gianni who introduced such a notion as a “top model”, starting to allocate his girls as favorites and paying them triple royalties per show night.
- Every time Versace presented dresses and other clothes from new collections with a special glamour. He turned his shows into fantastic shows and organized more than 60 shows with special music.
- The house of Gianni Versace, where he was shot, was bought for himself by the Beckham couple.
Versace’s designer was a real personality, with his own mind and beliefs. So much has changed in the world since he was taken away from us. It’s impossible to imagine the incredible ways in which he have been inspired by the positive changes in society around the world and the changing role of women.
In less than twenty years, he created an international company that put Italy on the fashion map and built an unrivaled reputation for luxury and glamour.
We are convinced that he had accomplished a lot in the fashion industry, but really, it was just the beginning. He still had a lot to give to the world.