Gianni Versace Interesting Journey In The Luxury Fashion Industry

Updated: Jan 25

By Delhi Royale


Overview | About Owner | Medusa Meaning | Versace Impact On Fashion Industry | Top Dresses | Collaborations | Hotels | Versace Pronunciation | Death

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.

He was friends with many celebs like Eric Clapton; Diana, Princess of Wales; Naomi Campbell; Duran Duran; Kate Moss; Madonna; Elton John; Cher; Sting; Tupac Shakur etc.

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.

Medusa Meaning

Versace logo has Medusa’s head ( a character from Greek mythology) that was transformed into a Gorgon by Goddess Athena.

Medusa In Movies

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.

Top Dresses Designed By Versace

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”.