Published: 2022-12-12 ǀ Updated: 2023-05-30
Gianni Versace Biography
Giovanni Maria "Gianni" Versace (* December 2, 1946, in Reggio Calabria; † July 15, 1997, in Miami Beach) brought pomp and sex, classicism and pop culture to the fashion world. His creations were always characterized by bright colors and eye-catching Pop Art patterns, combined with borrowings from Greek mythology and the Baroque. The exceptional designer not only brought jeans to the catwalk, but also founded the momentum of supermodels on the runway.
Gianni decides to work as a freelance fashion designer after the trained architect began his design career in his mother's tailoring business and worked for the family business as a fabric buyer.
Versace starts working for Callaghan and the up-and-coming Genny brand, whose fame was due in no small part to him.
First leather collection released in the USA for Complice.
In 1978 Gianni Versace finally set up his own company. His sister Donatella becomes his muse, and his brother Santo takes care of the finances.
In 1979 Versace has his first prêt-à-porter show and opens the first fashion boutique in Milan.
Versace achieves his international breakthrough as a fashion designer. The image of Medusa, which he used for many creations at the time and which would later be found in the company logo, also dates from this time.
Versace designes costumes for prestigious ballet, theater, and opera performances.
The designer presents for the first time the "Oroton dress" — a light chainmail top, which since then has been considered one of the well-known symbols of sex, money and jet-set lifestyle of the eighties.
In Versace became the first fashion designer ever to be allowed to exhibit creations at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The designer created his second line Versus, which will be seen at New York Fashion Week in 1995. The designs are essentially taken over by his sister Donatella. Other second lines follow with Instante, Signature and Versace Jeans.
Versace has Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington walk down the runway to George Michael's "Freedom" and establishing the "age of the supermodel."
July 15, 1997
Versace is shot dead outside his Miami Beach home by callboy and serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan. After his death, the Versace fashion empire, worth around 720 million euros, passes to his siblings Santo (management) and Donatella (creative direction). Donatella succeeds in turning the brand into a global lifestyle brand.
Gianni's partner D'Amico leaves the company to build his own fashion brand.
The company is acquired by Michael Kors (now operating as Capri Holdings).
- In 1991, Versace had Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington walk down the runway to George Michael's "Freedom," establishing the age of supermodels.
- Not least because of his open treatment of his life partnership with Antonio D'Amico, Versace played a significant role in the homoeroticization of men's fashion.
- Versace's clients and friends included celebrities such as Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Sting, Elton John and Tupac Shakur.
- Madonna and Jon Bon Jovi modeled for the designer, as did Demi Moore.
- Legendary is his rivalry with Giorgio Armani, which resulted in the phrase: "Versace dresses the mistress, Armani dresses the wife."