HISTORY OF VERSACE – “it’s pronounced versachay not versachee”

The brief history of the Italian Fashion House that we still debate

the pronunciation of

 

The brand Versace was the brainchild of Gianni Versace which came to live

back in 1978. During Gianni’s reign as the head of the royal family of Italian

fashion, he formed the distinct image of the celebrated brand. Versace made it

his brand philosophy to empower the woman- chiefly through designs that

had bright flamboyant textiles, sleek and sexual cuts of fabric, and most of all

which he beheld in his designs was being able to make “a woman feel

confident and sexy”.

The inspirations for his designs primarily came from ample Italian artworks

and theatre decors. It’s not come as a surprise that Gianni’s infatuation with

the world of fashion started at an early age. Young Versace would help his

mother find precious stones that he would help embroider into dresses his

mother designed. He studied classical architecture before moving to Milan to

start a career in fashion design, in the mid 1970s. The influence of the Ancient

Greek and Roman architectural styles that Gianni studied about as a young

man certainly constituted the identity of his fashion brand. His passion for

Greek Mythology is noticeable not just from the Medusa inspired trademark

but is also expressed in numerous of his collections. The connections to him

having this for a logo is very interesting as it accurately describes what his

work is all about. The medusa head is some what symbolizing the

empowerment of women, coincidentally Versace openly expressed his love for

his biggest muse – his sister Donna.

 

 

Time line of Versace:

 

1978- Gianni Versace presents his first women’s collection in Milan under

the name Gianni Versace Donna. The first boutique is opened in Milan’s

Via Della Spiga.

1982- Versace’s ‘Orton’ material – a metal chain-mail invented by Versace –

is launched in his collection presented at the Paris Opera.

The same year, Gianni Versace also begins his ongoing collaboration with La

Scala Theatre, Milan, designing costumes for a ballet production.

Since then Versace has designed for several Italian theatre and ballet

productions, even being awarded with the Silver Mask Award for his

contribution to theatre.

1985- Gianni Versace’s first exhibition in the UK is held at the Victoria and

Albert Museum.

1989- Versace launches its first Haute Couture collection in Paris and opens

Atelier Versace.

1991- ‘Supermodel Phenomenon’ is born after Versace’s decision to send all

the top models of the time down the catwalk for his 1991/1992 collections for

the Autumn/Winter season.

The big four: Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and

Christy Turlington strutted arm in arm down the runway, mouthing the lyrics

to “Freedom! ’90” as they went.

1994- Versace steals the spotlight once again, when Elizabeth Hurley wore

the infamous safety pin dress to the movie premiere ‘Four Weddings and a

Funeral’.

 

The same year Versace Fine Jewelry Line is launched.

1997- Gianni Versace is shot just outside his Miami mansion on July 15.

He was killed by Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer who is rumoured to have

become obsessed with Versace. After following the designer for months,

Cunnan ultimately shot him outside the gate to the estate, and took his own

life after.

Gianni’s sister Donatella, is named Creative Director of the Versace Group.

After his tragic death, his younger sister, Donatella Versace, took over as

creative director, she will go on to describe this time as “the darkest period my

life”. Despite her lack of education in fashion design (formerly only directing

some of the brand’s ad campaigns and inspiring her brother’s designs),

Donatella was able to maintain Versace’s prestige, for over twenty years now.

While some have denounced the brand’s artistic direction after Gianni’s

passing many fashion critics have said that she added a flare that only “a

divine female” can.

After all, Gianni continually emphasised that the secret behind Versace’s

success was to empower the woman.

 

Natural curiosity for the world of trends and fashion. An eye for political and cultural oppression. Living in London as a freelance journalist. In training for the profession of News Reporter.

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