Gianni Versace became one of the world’s leading fashion designers during his relatively brief life. He was born in Italy on the 2nd of December, 1946 to parents, Antonio and Francesca. There were 2 other children, Versace’s sister Donatella and his brother, Santo.
Versace would talk of spending time with his mother who had a small dressmaking shop and clothing store. His interest in fashion and clothes began at an early age as he helped in the shop and admired the lovely clothing that was being created by his mother for her customers.
Years later Gianni Versace would talk about how he realized early in life that his destiny would be in the world of fashion. His surrounding landscape included many of the ancient ruins from the Greek and Roman eras, and this too would influence Versace’s fashion aesthetic called Versace 1969
As a young teen Versace thoroughly enjoyed listening to music and dabbling in art while he studied for a career in architectural drafting. All of these pursuits would play a part in the clothing designs that he would create in future years.
Versace started as a buyer for his mother when he was only 18. This led to his attending fashion shows by some of the best design houses and at the age of 22 his sense of style and fashion was impressive enough to compel a local businessman to hire Gianni to personally design a clothing collection. This 1st collection of Gianni Versace original designs were quite good and soon the top Italian models were traveling to the south of Italy to take part in fashionable runway events at the store owned by Francesca Versace.
In 1972 word of Versace had reached Milan designers and was asked to create a collection of summer clothing for the Florentine Flowers label. Although he had little time to complete this “rush” job Versace designed a collection that sold so well he received a bonus and was asked to stay and work on collections for the fall and winter.
Versace was a break out star in the ready to wear fashion industry that was just beginning to develop and it would not be long before his talents would take him to the top. In the 70’s Versace was creating knitwear marketed under the Complice label, and he broke rank with other designers to debut an “all leather” clothing line.
Gianni Versace was quick to realize that clothing designs needed to reflect the identity of the designer and he was just as quick to capitalize on this revelation. In the late 70’s his brother and sister joined him as business associates. Versace remained an independent clothing line even while many other designers were merging with other companies.
Versace’s many clothing innovations and designs included the dresses that were made from metallic mesh and the bonding of rubber and leather using laser technology. Versace was all about elegance, daring, creativity and risk taking when it came to his designs. His stage costumes for film stars, musical entertainers and opera performers would boost his career into overdrive. Elton John was a loyal Versace fan and commissioned the designer to create costumes for him to wear during world tours.
Throughout the 80s and 90s the genius and imagination of Gianni Versace continued to drive the world of fashion. His empire would even expand to include automotives, bed linens, sunglasses, fragrances and many other products.
Versace became one of the richest and most well known men in the world with homes in Miami Beach, Lake Como and Milan. Then everything ended with gunshots when Andrew Cunanan traveled to Miami Beach, Florida and killed Gianni Versace as the designer stood just a short distance from his front door.