Updated: Mar 26
Giovanni Maria "Gianni" Versace ( 2 December 1946 – 15 July 1997) was an Italian luxury fashion designer and creator of Versace, a global fashion house that manufactures accessories, fragrances, make-up, household furnishings, and garments. He also designed for theatrical and movie costumes. Gianni Versace was one of the first designers to connect fashion to the music world.
About Versace Owner
Versace lived in Reggio Calabria, Italy where he grew up alongside his elder brother, Santo Versace and his younger sister, Donatella Versace (current CCO), together with their Mom & Dad. Gianni initially was inspired by his mother (Francesca) who was a costume designer dressmaker.
Ancient Greek history, which influences the historical background of his homeland, greatly inspired Versace. Without finishing the course at Liceo Classico Tommaso Campanella, where is learned Latin and ancient Greek. At a young age, Versace started his traineeship at his mother’s company, which hired up to a dozen seamstresses. Prior moving to Milan, Italy Versace was fascinated with architecture and by the age of 26 he started working in fashion industry.
He became the designer of “Byblos" in 1973, a successful Genny's youthful line, and he designed Complice, another, more creative, line for Genny in 1977. A few years later, inspired by his popularity, Versace introduced at the Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan his first signature collection for women. In September that same year, his first fashion show followed. His first boutique launched in 1978 on Via della Spiga in Milan.
Versace logo has Medusa’s head ( a character from Greek mythology) that was transformed into a Gorgon by Goddess Athena.
Medusa story goes that the image use in Versace’s logo is an image that both Gianni & his sister saw as a child in the ruins of a Roman Villa.
Medusa was the only mortal among the three Gorgons in Greek Mythology. The young golden haired Medusa caught the eye of the God Poseidon who on impulse decided to ravish her in the temple of goddess Athena. Athena caught them and in a fit of rage turned her into a hideous monster with serpent hair. Anyone who looked at Medusa, would turn into a stone, this is how Medusa is portrayed & remembered.
Gianni’s Versace depicts Medusa at a time when her golden hair overflowed instead of serpent hair & depicts her as an alluring woman with a supernatural aura.
Medusa was an expression of his taste for tradition combined with his desire to astonish his audiences.
“He told me he thought that whoever falls in love with Medusa can’t flee from her” ~Donatella Versace
Versace was quite mindful of his southern Italian roots and incorporated motifs influenced by ancient fashion and art trends, especially Graeco-Roman art, into his designs.
This is noticeable in the logo of the brand, the Medusa Head and repeated motifs such as the Greek key. He also influenced his passion for modern art by making graphic prints focused on the art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
Versace Meaning To Fashion Industry
Versace soon became a star on the international fashion scene after establishing his Milan boutique in 1978. Vivid colours, colourful prints and stylish cuts were used in his sketches, which were a refreshing response to the prevalent taste for the subdued colours and simplicity. In comparison to acclaim his style “combined luxurious classicism with overt sexuality,” drew much criticism.
“I don’t believe in good taste” he is quoted as saying, which was expressed in his “blatant rejection of the rules of fashion.
A saying relating to Versace’s competition with Giorgio Armani was: “Armani dresses the wife, Versace dresses the mistress”
From 1978, with the aid of his family, Versace founded the firm, hiring his sister Donatella as Vice President and his brother Santo as President of the company.
The influence of Donatella spread to innovative supervision, where she served as Versace’s core consultant.
Versace suits were more influenced by his female tailoring training, differing from masculine Savile Row models by designing suits that stressed the male body and “insisted on men as sex objects”.
Versace grew the brand into jewelry and household items in 1982, designing luxury furnishings, china, and home textiles. In maintaining full artistic autonomy over all facets of this enterprise, he was unusual. In 1989, With the introduction of Atelier Versace, the company grew into haute couture in 1989.
Since Versace designed for many prominent clients, including Elton John and Micheal Jackson, as well as the most stunning ladies, Versace was also known as the “Rock n’ Roll designer”. For Elton John, Versace designed the stage costumes and album cover outfit in 1992. The Princess of Wales and Princess Caroline of Monaco had hired Versace to design their clothes as it was an appealing brand. The Versace corporation is known by using the same models that they do on the runway in their commercials.
There are more than 1500 boutiques globally as of 2016; the first boutique outside Italy launched in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1991.
In 2000, at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, the “green Versace dress” worn by Jennifer Lopez received a lot of public cover age, being named the “fifth most iconic dress of all time” in 2008.
The Versace brand is popular, but with style, for its artistic creations that have symbolic flashy prints and vibrant colours. In 2018, the brand announced it would avoid using fur in its products.
In 2006, to manufacture the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 VERSACE, Gianni Versace S.r.l. signed into a collaboration with Automotive Lamborghini S.r.l. in order to produce the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. The car had a Versace white satin interior with seats engraved with the Versace logo. The car was only available in black and white and just ten units were manufactured. A complimentary luggage package, Luxurious driving shoes and driving gloves were included with the car sold.
To build AgustaWestland AW109 Grand Versace VIP Luxury helicopter, the Versace group teamed up with the AgustaWestland in 2008. The Versace leather interior and the pattern on the outside are used in the helicopter.
There were several products with the Ford Motor Company Logo included in the Versace Men’s Fall 2019 range. The two firms joined together, as per the fashion house, to harness “the excitement of buying your first car. "
Excitement and ability to own something as an extension of one's character, something quite related to the nature of being a man.
In 2015, Versace partnered in China with the Mind Collective company . The two firms design “Versace Residencies.” Luxurious residence buildings. The designers aim was to merge the luxury condo features of Versace with elements of ancient Chinese culture.
Versace collaborated with the ABIL Group in India this same year to create another residential development of the luxurious homes which are placed in South Mumbai.
In 1997, the Sunland Group’s Abedian approached Versace and confidently suggested a luxury hotel based on the Versace Brand; on 15 September 2000, the first Palazzo Versace was launched on Australia’s Gold Coast. In December 2012, the hotel was sold to a Chinese consortium.
The second Palazzo Versace Dubai, was completed in December 2015 which is located on the foreshore.
The Palazzo Versace Macau was declared in 2013 and will be designed in alliance with SJM Holdings, Macau’s largest casino operator. The Palazzo Versace hotels are the first fashion-branded hotels with a focus on elegance and luxury.
His sister Donatella Versace, originally vice-president, took over as creative director after the murder of Gianni Versace in 1997 and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO. Donatella’s daughter Allegra Versace was left with a 50 percent stake in the venture as Versace was known for loving his nieces and nephews: the two children of Santo, Francesca and Antonio, and the two children of Donatella, Allegra and Daniel.
Allegra Versace inherited ownership of on her 18th birthday.
Versace’s empire was estimated at $807 million at the time of his death and featured 130 boutiques around the world.
Michael Kors Holdings purchased all outstanding stock of Gianni Versace S.r.l. for $2.12 billion (USD) on 25 September 2018; the transaction was closed on 31 December 2018, with Donatella Versace head of creative design remaining.
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