Donatella Francesca Versace (Italian: [donaˈtɛlla franˈtʃeska verˈsaːtʃe];[a] born 2 May 1955) is an Italian fashion designer and the current chief creative officer of Versace, a division of Capri Holdings. Versace was founded by her brother, Gianni Versace, and upon his death in 1997, Donatella inherited 20% of the company and became its chief executive officer. Versace was sold to Capri Holdings in 2018, although Donatella still remains involved.
Versace at the 2010 Time 100 Gala
Donatella Francesca Versace
2 May 1955
|Board member of||Versace|
Palazzo Versace Dubai
Elton John AIDS Foundation
(m. 1983; div. 2000)
(m. 2004; div. 2005)
|Relatives||Santo Versace (brother)|
Gianni Versace (brother)
|Vice-President of Versace|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Jorge Saud|
|Chief Executive Officer|
Serving with Santo Versace and Jorge Saud
|Preceded by||Gianni Versace|
|Succeeded by||Allegra Versace|
|Creative Director of Versace|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Gianni Versace|
Early life and familyEdit
Donatella Versace was born in Reggio di Calabria, Southern Italy, the youngest of four children. Her father, Antonio, was a salesman and her mother, Francesca, was a dressmaker. Her older sister, Tina, died at the age of 12 from an improperly treated tetanus infection. Her brother, Santo Versace, inherited 30% of Versace upon Gianni's death and her daughter, Allegra Versace, inherited 50%.
In the mid-1970s, Donatella followed her older brother, Gianni Versace, to pursue knitwear design in Florence, Italy. She had planned to work for her brother in the public relations department, but, according to her, was more valuable to him as a "muse and critic". Through her closeness to her brother's enterprises, she entered the fashion world. In the 1980s, Gianni launched a perfume dedicated to her, Blonde, and gave her her own label, Versus, which Gianni formerly ran for her until his death.
On July 18, 1998, one year and three days after Gianni’s death, Donatella Versace mounted her first Haute couture show for the Versace Atelier at the Hôtel Ritz Paris. She built her runway over the hotel's swimming pool, as her brother had done every season, though this time using sheer glass. She now oversees the production of a dozen collections each year.
Donatella has designed advertising campaigns for Versace that included Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Courtney Love, Christina Aguilera, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Demi Moore, Nicki Minaj, and Lady Gaga and made Beyoncé and January Jones the personae and images of Versace.
In 2010, Donatella's charity work, which included providing art supplies to children and creating a tote bag with proceeds going to charity, earned her a Do Something With Style Award nomination from the VH1 Do Something Awards.
In 2017, Donatella was awarded the Fashion Icon of the Year award at the British Fashion Council's The Fashion Awards. She became the first woman to be named as the Designer of the Year at the 2018 GQ Men of the Year Awards in the UK and in China. The same year, she received the International CFDA Award and was honored at The Green Carpet Fashion Awards for her work for sustainability. In November 2018 Donatella received the Fashion Icon award at GQ Awards Berlin.
Versace and her former husband, American model Paul Beck have two children: daughter Allegra Versace Beck (born 30 June 1986), and son Daniel Versace (born 1989). Cathy Horyn describes visiting their Milan apartment in 1996: "It was a lavish place, the living room done in Versace prints, but it was also a beautiful and feminine home." Donatella was at the time into drugs and a heavy smoker.
Her brother Gianni Versace was murdered on 15 July 1997, outside the re-constructed Casa Casuarina, also known as Versace Mansion, in Miami, Florida. In the aftermath of the highly publicized crime and manhunt, most of the Versace family, including Donatella, moved temporarily to a secluded private resort in the Caribbean.
In popular cultureEdit
Versace has made cameo appearances in many films relating to fashion and its industry, such as Zoolander. In other films, including the 2006 hit The Devil Wears Prada, her name is mentioned sporadically.
In the ABC series Ugly Betty, a fictional character called "Fabia", played by actress Gina Gershon, is a parody of Donatella. Gershon also played Versace as the lead role in the Lifetime television movie House of Versace, released in 2013.
In 1999, director William Friedkin considered Angelina Jolie to portray Donatella, in a small role, in a film which never materialized entitled The Man Who Killed Versace written by Frederic Raphael.
Lady Gaga wrote the song "Donatella" from her 2013 album Artpop for her. The plot of season 2 of the television series American Crime Story recounts the murder of Donatella's brother, Gianni Versace. She is portrayed by Penélope Cruz.
- 73 Questions With Donatella Versace. Vogue. 31 January 2018.
- "You've probably been pronouncing 'Versace' wrong, according to Donatella". Harper's Bazaar. 2 February 2018.
- Bruno Mars - Versace On The Floor [Official Video]. Bruno Mars. 13 August 2017 – via YouTube.
- "Capri Holdings Limited Completes Acquisition of Versace" (Press release). Business Wire. 31 December 2018.
- King, Carol (15 April 2013). "Italian Families: Versace". Italy Magazine.
- Collins, Lauren (24 September 2007). "Mondo Donatella". The New Yorker. p. 158.
- Askinasi, Rachel (23 April 2019). "Inside the iconic Versace family's journey through fame, tragedy, and resilience". Business Insider.
- Horyn, Cathy (15 June 2004). "A New Half-Owner for Versace, and She's Almost 18". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
- MILLER, JULIE (25 January 2018). "Inside Gianni Versace's Final Fashion Show". Vanity Fair.
- Fernandez, Celia (20 June 2019). "Jennifer Lopez Reveals Why She Almost Didn't Wear That Infamous Versace Dress to the 2000 Grammys". O, The Oprah Magazine.
- Newcomb, Alyssa (22 April 2019). "Jennifer Lopez shares the story of that iconic green Versace dress". Today.
- "Go Big or Go Home! Palazzo Versace's Grand Opening in Dubai". Vogue. 16 November 2016.
- Brunt, Lara (28 November 2016). "Donatella Versace's Dubai dream – inside the emirate's most glamorous hotel". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Gianni Versace". Victoria and Albert Museum.
- "DoSomething.org Celebrates the 2010 VH1 Do Something Awards With Star-Studded Award Show in Hollywood" (Press release). PR Newswire. 20 July 2010.
- "5 world-class fashion designers and their inspiring stories". India Today. 9 July 2015.
- Eytan, Declan (30 November 2017). "Donatella Versace to Receive 'Fashion Icon of The Year' Award". Forbes.
- "All the winners from the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2018". GQ.
- "Donatella Versace: «I'll do anything in my power so that Versace remains in history»". MFFashion. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
- "Every Winner From the 2018 CFDA Awards". Vogue. 5 June 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
- "The Green Carpet Fashion Award Winners 2018". Eco-Age. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
- Cordes, Niklas; Schönstädt, Annika (8 November 2018). "„GQ"-Awards: Hollywood in Berlin". Berliner Morgenpost.
- Horyn, Cathy (4 October 2013). "Why Fashion Films Are Usually Cartoons". The New York Times.
- PEARSON, MURIEL; DUBREUIL, JIM; VALIENTE, ALEXA (7 July 2017). "Inside the mind of the serial killer who murdered Gianni Versace". ABC News.
- "Our Patrons". Elton John AIDS Foundation.
- "Donatella Versace pressured to dye hair blond at age 11 by brother Gianni". Toronto Sun. 2 November 2016.
- BUNDEL, ANI (17 January 2018). "Donatella Versace's Net Worth Is Even Higher Than You Think It Is & That's A Lot". Elite Daily.
- "DONATELLA VERSACE SKETCHES". NBC.
- Cooper, Gael Fashingbauer (5 September 2013). "Double-take! Gina Gershon becomes an uncanny twin of Donatella Versace". Today.
- "Donatella Versace Approves of the Love Song Lady Gaga Wrote for Her". Fashionista.com. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (12 January 2017). "Lady Gaga Will Not Play Donatella Versace in FX's 'American Crime Story'". Variety.
- Goldberg, Lesley (20 March 2017). "Penelope Cruz to Star in 'Versace: American Crime Story'". The Hollywood Reporter.