Versace: ‘Believe in individuality and the freedom to be whoever you want to be.’

May 7, 2022

Gianni Versace S.r.l is one of the leading international fashion design houses and a symbol of Italian luxury worldwide.

Versace’s logo is inspired by Medusa, a mythological goddess whose hair is made up of snakes, and when people stared into her eyes, they would turn into stone.

There are 153 Versace retail stores and 57 outlet stores worldwide.
In the United States there are 23 Versace locations.

Versace’s Medusa Music dress

Versace is an Italian luxury fashion company founded by Gianni Versace in 1978. Known for its haute couture fashions which are symbolized by flashy prints and bright colours, it also produces upscale ready-to-wear styles and accessories.

Versace’s haute-couture fashions are marketed under the brand name Atelier Versace.

In 1972, Gianni Versace designed his first collections for the designers Callaghan, Genny, and Complice. In 1978, the company launched under the name Gianni Versace Donna and the first Versace boutique was opened in Milan’s Via della Spiga. Versace controlled everything about the brand, from designing to retailing. 

In 1982, reaching out beyond fashion, Versace expanded his brand to include accessories, jewelry, home furnishings, and china.

In 1993, Donatella Versace created the Young Versace line as well as Versus. In 1994, the brand gained widespread international coverage due to the black safety-pin Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley which was referred to as “that dress.”

Versace on Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA

In 2018, American Michael Kors Holdings acquired all outstanding shares in Gianni Versace S.r.l. for $220,831,799.78 USD.

Donatella Versace continued in her role as head of creative design.

Putting his unique and highly creative style to work, Versace designed for many famous clients, including Elton John and Michael Jackson. He has also designed clothing for the Princess of Wales and Princess Caroline of Monaco.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace

In 1997, Versace was returning home from a neighborhood walk when he was killed by a gunman on the steps of his Miami Beach home. Following his death, his sister Donnatella Versace, formerly vice-president, took over as creative director, and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO. Donatella’s daughter, Allegra Versace, inherited a 50 percent stake in the company of which she assumed control on her eighteenth birthday in 2004. Today, Donatella holds the dual role of chief designer and vice president of the board.

In 2000, the green Versace dress worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards was voted as the “fifth most iconic dress of all time” in 2008, with Elizabeth Hurley’s 1994 black safety-pin dress being voted first in a Daily Telegraph poll.

In February 2014 The Blackstone Group purchased a 20 percent stake in Versace for €210 million, or $220.8 million USD.

As of 2016, more than 1500 boutiques operate worldwide.

In September 2018 Versace announced that one hundred percent of all Blackstone and Versace family shares had been sold to the Group Michael Kors Limited.

In January 2019, at a cost of $2.2 billion, Gianni Versace S.r.l. joined Capri Holdings Limited, forming a new global fashion luxury group together with Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo.

In 2021, Versace opened their first boutique in SoHo, New York City.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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