Never too much !
To elevate ostentation, embody the femme fatale, build an empire: only someone named Versace could achieve such a feat. From Gianni to Donatella, from Milan to Miami, the story of Versace is a modern epic of grandeur, tragedy, and extravagance. An iconic fashion house embodied by larger-than-life characters; Versace has made its mark on the industry by brilliantly redefining the boundaries of too much.
Born in 1946 in Reggio di Calabria in southern Italy, Gianni Versace learned the art of couture in his mother’s workshop. At the age of 25, he left his sunny province to try his luck in Milan as an independent stylist. Joined by his brother and sister, Gianni launched his eponymous brand in 1978. In this family business, everyone found their place: Santo in management, Gianni and Donatella in creation. A pioneer of daring combinations, Gianni mixed leopard prints with leather, and lace with studs and rings. Versace appropriated the head of Medusa, a mythological figure of seduction, as its emblem, and Greco-Roman friezes as its motif. Adorned with gold, black, and audaciousness, his collections shocked some, appealed to others, and quickly seduced the biggest celebrities. The house even designed costumes for performances at La Scala in Milan.
Never too much !
In the face of its success, Versace expanded and opened to new horizons. In 1981, the house launched its first perfume and then, with Donatella as creative director, presented Versus Versace in 1989, its second Ready-to-wear line aimed at younger audiences.
At the dawn of the 1990s, the house reached its peak by unveiling its first haute couture collection under the name Atelier Versace. To showcase his creations with assertive sensuality, Gianni Versace had Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Carla Bruni, and Linda Evangelista walk down the runway to the tune of George Michael’s “Freedom.” This show marked the birth of the Top Models phenomenon and broke with modelling convention that until then reserved famous models for photo shoots and anonymous ones for runway shows.
In 2017, this memorable casting made its big comeback in a runway show commemorating the ten-year anniversary of Gianni’s passing. Clad in golden lamé dresses, the stars of the ’90s walked the runways once again to the same music and in a décor made entirely of gold.
Upon Gianni’s death in 1997, his sister Donatella took over the reins of the company and continues to perpetuate the singular and inspiring legacy of the brand.
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