Versace - Love and Desire?
There's something about Versace that invokes a feeling of curiosity. Perhaps it's their Medusa-inspired brand logo that compels us to gaze in their presence?
Worn by a host of celebrities and royalty, they have dazzled us with an array of designs that have rocked the fashion world and even inspired the creation of Google Images! Thank-you J-Lo.
In the four decades they have been around, they have become one of the most luxurious brands in the world and developed an affinity with luxury and style.
Launched by the ingenious Giovanni "Gianni" Versace, the family band took the fashion world by storm and latched onto an idea that linked two industries and changed everything.
Giovanni Versace - The Visionary
Giovanni Maria "Gianni" Versace (1946-1997) was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy.
His started his fashion career when he started an apprenticeship at his mother's sewing business and later moved to Milan to work in fashion design. Designing collections for Callaghan and Complice, it was his stint Genny which played a huge role in his career.
He joined Genny and worked his way to creative director in 1973. After experiencing success, he was encouraged to start his own label and did so in 1978.
Now the Creative Director of The Gianni Versace Company, he involved his siblings Santo and Donatella who became the brand's muse.
One thing that he had going for him was control. He controlled every aspect of his brand and this freedom meant he could take the brand in any direction he wanted.
Trivia - the reason why Medusa was used as the brand's logo was that, in Greek mythology, she made people hopelessly fall in love with her.
The Whole World Falls for Versace
Versace was a hit, instantly. They won numerous awards and designed outfits for films and theatre. They were considered Haute Couture in the late 80's which illustrated their ascension to the big league.
Now expanding throughout Europe, they were also extending their product lines in areas such as homewares, furniture and accessories.
Versace was making their mark in fashion but had another curveball to throw at them.
Gianni was strongly linked to the music industry and counted the likes of Michael Jackson, Cher, Sting and Elton John as his friends. Linking fashion and music was a first and Versace made it their own by creating clothes for them.
It was here where the medusa effect went into overdrive as these musicians were icons of their time and still to this day but now, they were wearing Versace. The interest in the brand went nuclear and fans were asking who and what are they wearing.
At the height of their success, tragedy struck the company, as their founder, Gianni was murdered.
On July 15th, 1997, Versace was thrown into turmoil when their visionary leader was the 5th victim of serial killer, Andrew Cunanan. After killing Gianni, he committed suicide 8 days later.
Donatella became the creative director and her brother, Santo became the CEO.
The story of Versace is phenomenal. Their visionary leader introduced us to a new type of fashion.
To further illustrate the story of Versace, and some of Gianni's most famous designs, the next article chronicles some of their most iconic looks. From the infamous bondage collection of 1992 to empowering oroton designs, Versace know how to make an apperance! Read it here: Famous Designs by Versace
In 2018, it was confirmed that Michael Kors would buy Versace for $2.1bn to add to his portfolio which includes Jimmy Choo. With planned expansions on the way, it marks a new era for the brand.
Donatella will stay on as creative director of the fashion house but it gives Michael Kors an opportunity to enter an exclusive haute couture market.
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