Versace is a world famous Italian fashion label, originally founded by Gianni Versace in 1978 who opened his first boutique that year in Milan’s Via della Spiga. Its success and popularity was immediate and has continued to it now being one of the world’s leading international fashion houses with boutiques in nearly every part of the world. Gianni Versace apprenticed at his mother’s dressmaking shop and there acquired the skills and fundamentals that helped propel him so rapidly into the fashion world limelight. When he started in 1978, he rapidly established his love for bright colours, body-hugging shapes and lots of glamour. After a period working for Callaghan and Genny, he called on his younger sister Donatella to help develop the Versace brand. They worked together throughout the ’80s and ’90s, with Donatella concentrating on the famously sophisticated and sumptuous promotional images, for which Versace is well known for to this day. Gianni Versace was tragically killed in 1997, and so his sister, Donatella Versace, became the chief designer and took up the challenge of the legacy of the Versace brand. As the female figurehead of one of the few remaining family-run fashion houses, she now presides over seven brands under the Versace name. Her flamboyant, party-girl image has now become synonymous with the Versace brand itself. The Versace Group now covers a wide range of designs for marketing and distributing luxury clothing, accessories, fragrances, makeup and home furnishings. From the signature chain-mail dress Gianni debuted in the early eighties to Elizabeth Hurley’s flesh-baring safety-pin number. It has long been the fashion house of choice for all those red-carpet sirens who demand a theatrical entrance. Some of the ‘big name’ fans of Versace have been or are: Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Hurley, Axl Rose, Beyoncé and the late Princess Diana.
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