In July 1997, Gianni Versace died, murdered on the steps of his villa in Miami. Twenty years later, Donatella Versace pays homage to her brother with the 2018 Spring-Summer collection inspired by his greatest hits. Baroque prints, Trésor de la Mer and Vogue, (very) clingy dresses and super-bling jewellery, everything on the runway smacked of 90’s extravagance. With the handbags, the designer chose to revisit some of the brand’s highlights, like the one Princess Diana once owned, now known as the Tribute. The cherry on the cake was the appearance on the runway of all the super models that used to walk for Gianni Versace.
In 1978, Gianni Versace, who already had extensive experience in fashion, decided to launch its eponymous brand. The Italian fashion designer quickly became famous for his original vision where sexiness coexists with the most traditional craftsmanship. Versace designs can be identified by their cuts, their bright colors, and their three emblematic signatures: gold letter branding, a Medusa head and the Greek Cross, an omnipresent symbol in the designer’s native region that strongly influenced his style.
In 1982, Versace became designer of the Teatro della Scala costumes while the brand diversified, launching jewelry, accessories and interior decoration lines. However, the brand only became renowned in the 90s. At the time Donatella Versace, Gianni's little sister, launched the Young Versace and Versus lines. After the death of the founding couturier in 1997, Donatella Versace became Creative Director, overseeing the creation of the Versace and Atelier Versace collections. Since 2009, the Versus line has been directed by young designers, who don’t stay very long to ensure constant renewal. So far, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Anderson and Anthony Vaccarello have taken part in the revival of this slightly rebellious line. Donatella Versace, who is eleven years younger than her older brother Gianni, quickly joined the family business. During the life of the couturier, she started as head of the brand’s press relations before being in charge of the Versus line. In 1997, she became Creative Director of all the brand’s collections and Vice-President of the Board of Directors. Under her leadership, the Versace woman has become sportier, more independent but remains just as sexy. A feminist breakthrough that places the brand at the forefront of ready-to-wear labels created by women for women.