Versace: extravagant luxury,
dramatic history
The story of the talented Versace family is almost as
compelling as the designs of their sumptuous garments.
T
he Versace brand is synonymous with Italian style and elegance. Founded
inMilan in 1978 byGianni Versace, whowas apprenticed at hismother's
dressmaking shop – and run by his sister, Donatella, since his tragic and
untimely death in 1997 – Versace is Italy's bastion of lavish, extravagant, figure-
hugging gowns.
From the signature chain-mail dress Gianni debuted in the early eighties to
Elizabeth Hurley's famously dramatic safety-pin number, it has long been the
house of choice for successful and beautiful people who demand the height of
style, luxury and elegance.
The sophisticated label is associated with drama in all its aspects. Its founder was
murdered on the steps of his mansion in Miami Beach, Florida, and since then
the label has continued to go through eventful times.
For example, Gianni's will entitled Donatella's daughter, Allegra – who was only
11
at the time – to 50 per cent of the Versace empire on reaching her 18th birthday.
Donatella inherited only 20 per cent, while her older brother, Santo, received 30.
Donatella Versace has at times struggled in her personal life – but she has shown
immense strength to come through these difficulties and triumph in the world
of high fashion. She has been praised by critics for her opulent, sublime designs
as much as for a more recent subtlety and refined flair.
Versace produces both a beautiful ready-to-wear collection and a sumptuous
couture lines, Atelier Versace. There are also many luxurious diffusion line,
including Versace Sport, Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Collection, and Versus.
Moreover, the opulent brand creates fabulous fragrances, cosmetics, jewellery,
accessories, and furniture.
In 2000, a magnificent branded hotel, Palazzo Versace, opened on the Australian
Gold Coast. It was one more indication of the commanding reach of the
prestigious Versace family’s talent.
No doubt, lovers of luxury everywhere are looking forward to the continuing
drama, excitement and extravagance that is Versace.
1 8 2
S I M P LY A B U DH A B I