Sunday, November 20, 2011

Versace's History: A Family Affair

The fashion house Gianni Versace sPa (commonly referred to as just Versace) has a simple and short history, yet it is a tragic one nonetheless. The company was started by Gianni Versace in 1978 when he was just 32 years old. The designer was born in 1946 in Reggio, Calabria, Italy, and grew up with his brother Santo and sister Donatella. In 1976 Santo, and Donatella moved to Milan to help Gianni shape Versace's vision, and two years later the fashion house emerged. In 1982 Gianni met his boyfriend of 15 years, Antonio D' Amico, who stayed with Gianni up until the day of his death. In 1997 Gianni was inexplicably shot to death by Andrew Cunanan on the steps of his mansion in Miami Beach, upon returning home from a morning walk on Ocean Drive. The murderer shot himself on a boat several days later, and for this reason, the purpose of the murder still remains a mystery. 

Gianni Versace and Gianni with Antonio D' Amico:

Following Gianni's sudden death, his sister, Donatella, who was the vice president at the time, stepped in as the creative director of the company, and Santo became the CEO. Donatella is still the creative director of Versace, and has managed to create her own legacy while staying true to her deceased brother's aesthetic. 

Dontalla and Santo Versace respectively: 

Versace employs multiple teams of directors that work in each specific line, which includes, Atelier Versace, Versace Couture, Versace Sports, Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Home Collection, Versace Collection, and Versus (Versace). Today Versace is one of the most well-known international fashion houses, and, aside from clothing, distributes accessories, fragrances, makeup and home furnishings under their various brands. Versace became a "household name" in 1994 after the widespread media coverage of Elizabeth Hurley wearing a black Versace dress. The black dress was made from pieces of silk and lycra fabric, with over-sized gold safety pins placed at "strategical places." The dress is often referred to as "that dress," and is arguably Versace's best known, and most idolized creation.

Since Hurley's debut, Versace has had various celebrities establish themselves as well-known fans of the line. For example, Elton John's most iconic pieces are often Versace, such as his sparkling suits covered in Swarovski crystals.

Versace's other big celebrity fans include Tupac Shakur, Elizabeth Hurley, Axl Rose, Beyoncé, the late Princess Diana, Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga, who is renowned for bringing back vintage Versace. 

Many Celebrities have also been featured as "The Face of Versace" over the years, including Patrick Dempsey, Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Halle Berry, and the current "face" January Jones:


Here is a quick look at how the Versace aesthetic has transformed over the years, and how it has also stayed true to the brand that Gianni started almost thirty years ago: 

Versace Dresses ca. 1980: 

 Red Versace dresses of the 1990s on Catherine Zeta Jones and Cindy Crawford:

Versace dresses of the early 2000s on Kate Hudson and JLo:

Versace Dresses of 2007 on Agyness Deyn and Penelope Cruz:

Versace dresses from 2011 on Blake Lively and January Jones:

 The 2011 collaboration between Versace and H&M on Jessica Alba and Kanye West: 

And finally, the Spring 2012 sea-inspired Versace collection: 

Well, apologies for the rushed nature of the history of Versace, but this week was overshadowed by her H&M collaboration. Tomorrow I'll be highlighting a new designer, and the week should be business as usual including a Trendy Wednesday with some *Weekend Obsessions* to follow.

Ciao for now xx


  1. elegant post!!! love the skirts! they are to die for!:)

  2. Thanks, Carin. Glad you enjoyed it! I agree, those skirts are so amazing--so pretty!