Gianni Versace: Fashion Designer

Italy is well known in the world of fashion. A number of fashion designers, fashion houses, and proclaimed experts in the field come from this country. Fashion is considered one of the country’s major exports with Armani, Valentino, Luxottica, Dolce & Gabbana, Benetton, Prada, and, of course, Versace at the helm of the industry.

Versace, a world famous Italian fashion house that was founded by the a great man, a pioneer in the field of fashion, style, and popular culture. The man behind the brand is Gianni Versace. Born on the 2nd of December 1946 in the old city of Reggio di Calabria, Versace grew up practically training to be a top designer. Versace’s mother was a dressmaker and his earliest experience in the field of fashion was helping his mother sew on braids and precious stones onto their own dresses.

He left his town when he was 25 years old. He went to Milan to work for the fashion industry. He was only 25. Eventually, his talent got the attention of head-hunters and soon enough he was given a break when Complice hired him to design their leather and suede collections. Versace’s first signature collection came out at Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan. Then the rest, as they say, was history.

With influences from Andy Warhol, Roman and Greek arts, modern abstract art, 18th and 19th century gowns and the styles of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Versace’s design and style was colorful and vibrant. Not limiting himself to the high-class audience, he made designs that brought fashion to the streets. His first boutique opened in 1978 in Milan’s Via della Spiga. It became an instant hit.

His style and design attracted rock-and-roll stars earning him the distinction of being the designer for rock musicians. Versace’s clients included Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, George Michael, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Michael Jackson.

In the early 1980s, he branched his skill and started designing costumes for the theater, opera and ballet. Versace also began designing various accessories, jewelery, furnishings, and china. In not more than ten years, Versace has inscribed his name in the world of fashion and his empire grew to a multi-million dollar company. Madonna, Jon Bon Jovi and Tina Turner, are some of his models and endorsers in the runway and print ads.

It was, therefore, unfortunate that his success and career was put to a halt in 1997. On July 15, 1997, after a routine walk, Gianni Versace was gunned down as he enters his house in South Beach, Miami. The killer shot Versace twice.

His untimely death brought chaos to his huge empire of boutiques, fragrances, costume tailors and authors. His sister, Donatella Versace took the reigns and became the new CEO of the Versace House.

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