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Gianni Versace S.p.A. (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒanni verˈsaːtʃe])[a] usually referred to simply as Versace, is an Italian luxury fashion company and trade name founded by Gianni Versace in 1978. The main collection of the brand is Versace, which produces upmarket Italian-made ready-to-wear and leather accessories, while other diffusion lines are Versace Collection (mainly in the US), Versus Versace and Versace Jeans. The Versace logo is the head of Medusa, a Greek mythological figure. The logo came from the floor of ruins in Rome that the Versace siblings played in as children. Gianni Versace chose Medusa as the logo because she made people fall in love with her and they had no way back. He hoped his company would have the same effect on people. The Versace brand is known for its innovative designs having symbolic flashy prints and bright colors.[6][7][8] The company announced in 2018 that it would stop using fur in its collections.[9] On September 25th 2018, Michael Kors announced their intention to acquire all outstanding shares in Gianni Versace S.p.A for $2.12 billion (USD).[10]

Gianni Versace SA.
IndustryConsumer goods
Founded1978; 40 years ago (1978)
FounderGianni Versace
Key people
Gianni Versace, founder
Santo Versace, Chairman & President[1]
Jonathan Akeroyd, Director & CEO[1]
Donatella Versace, Artistic Director
ProductsTextiles, apparel
  • IncreaseEU€669 million (2016)[2]
  • EU€635 million (2013)[2]
Number of employees
ParentMichael Kors (2018)


History and operationsEdit

Gianni Versace (1946-1997), founder of the company in 1978
A dress by Gianni Versace

In 1972, Gianni Versace designed his first collections for Callaghan, Genny, and Complice. In 1978, the company launched under the name "Gianni Versace Donna."[11] The first Versace boutique was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978.[12][13] Versace was one of the few independent designers who was in control of everything about the brand, from designing to retailing.[6] In 1982, the company expanded into the accessory, jewelry, home furnishing, and china industries.[14] In 1993, Donatella Versace created the "Young Versace" line as well as "Versus."[11] In 1994, the brand gained widespread international coverage due to the black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley, referred to at the time as "that dress".[7][15][16]

Versace was often described as the "Rock n' Roll designer" because they designed for many famous clients, including Elton John and Michael Jackson. Versace designed the stage costumes and album cover costumes for Elton John in 1992. Versace has also designed clothing for the Princess of Wales and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The Versace company is known for using the same models in their ads as they do on the runway.[14]

After the murder of Gianni Versace in 1997, his sister Donatella Versace, formerly vice-president, took over as creative director and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO.[17] Donatella's daughter Allegra Versace was left a 50 percent stake in the company, which she assumed control of on her eighteenth birthday.[18][19][20]

In 2000, the "green Versace dress" worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards gained a lot of media attention, being voted as the "fifth most iconic dress of all time" in 2008, with Hurley's 1994 dress being voted first in a Daily Telegraph poll.[16]

The company's profits were in decline in the early 2000s;[18][21] Fabio Massimo Cacciatori was hired as interim CEO to reorganise and restructure the Versace Group in 2003.[22] Cacciatori resigned in December 2003 due to "disputes with the Versace family".[22] From 2004 Giancarlo di Risio, from IT Holding, was CEO of the group until his resignation in 2009 due to disagreements with Donatella.[23][24][25] Since July 2009, Gian Giacomo Ferraris, previously of Jil Sander, has operated as CEO for the group.[26]

In February 2014 The Blackstone Group purchased a 20 percent stake in Versace for 210 million.[27][28][29]

As of 2016, more than 1500 boutiques operate worldwide; the first boutique outside of Italy was opened in Glasgow, Scotland in 1991.[30]

On September 24, 2018 Michael Kors announced that it offered a deal to buy Versace for 2 billion euros.[31][32]

In October 2018, Versace announced to showcase the brand’s first ever pre-fall season show in New York on December 2. The show is scheduled on Gianni Versace’s birth date.[33]


In 2006, Gianni Versace S.p.A. entered into a partnership with Automobile Lamborghini S.p.A. to produce the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 VERSACE. The car had a Versace white satin interior with the Versace logo embroidered into the seats. The car was available in black and white. There were only ten units produced. The car was sold with a complementary luggage set, luxury driving shoes, and driving gloves.[34]

The Versace boutique in Milan, Italy

The Versace company teamed up with AgustaWestland in 2008 to create the AgustaWestland AW109 Grand Versace VIP luxury helicopter. The helicopter includes Versace leather interior and a design on the outside.[35][36]

In 2011, Versace and H&M released a new line of clothing that would be sold in H&M stores. The store sold both men's and women's clothing and home items such as pillows and blankets.[37]

In 2015, Versace collaborated with dancer Lil Buck to release a line of sneakers.[38]


Versace partnered with the Mind Group firm in China in 2015. The two companies designed luxury residence towers called the "Versace Residencies." The goal of the creators were to combine Versace's luxury home elements with elements of traditional Chinese culture.[39] This same year, Versace partnered with the ABIL Group in India to develop another residential project. These luxury homes are located in South Mumbai.[40]

In 2015, Donatella Versace was featured in Riccardo Tisci's Givenchy campaign.[41]

5th Avenue, New York City, 2013

Palazzo VersaceEdit

A Versace boutique at Gran Estación mall in Bogotá, Colombia

Soheil Abedian, of the Sunland Group, approached Versace in 1997 and successfully proposed a luxury hotel built upon the Versace brand; the first Palazzo Versace opened on Australia's Gold Coast on 15 September 2000.[42][43] The hotel was sold to a Chinese consortium in December 2012.[44][45] The second Palazzo, the Palazzo Versace Dubai, was completed in December 2015 and is located on the foreshore of Dubai Creek.[46] A third Palazzo is under construction. The Palazzo Versace Macau was announced in 2013 and will be built in partnership with Macau's largest casino operator SJM Holdings.[47][48][49] The Palazzo Versace hotels are the first fashion-branded hotels in the world and place an emphasis on beauty and luxury.[50]



  1. ^ According to a January 2018 Vogue interview with Donatella Versace, Versace is correctly pronounced /vərˈsɑː/ vər-SAH-chay in English as opposed to the popular pronunciation of /vərˈsɑːi/ vər-SAH-chee.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ a b "Bloomberg". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Mesco, Manuela (2016-04-25). "Gianni Versace profit rose 17% in 2015, lifted by soaring sales". Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
  3. ^ Vogue (2018-01-31), 73 Questions With Donatella Versace | Vogue, retrieved 2018-03-02
  4. ^ "You've probably been pronouncing 'Versace' wrong, according to Donatella". Harper's BAZAAR. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  5. ^ Bruno Mars (2017-08-13), Bruno Mars - Versace On The Floor [Official Video], retrieved 2018-03-02
  6. ^ a b Davis, Daniel (2011). Versace. New York, NY: Infobase Learning. p. 29. ISBN 9781604139808.
  7. ^ a b White, Belinda (3 October 2012). "Not 'That dress' again? Lady Gaga wears Liz Hurley's Versace safety pin gown". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  8. ^ Sun, Carol (Autumn 2001). "Transformation Parlor". Art Journal. 60: 42–47.
  9. ^ "Versace and Furla join designer labels ditching fur," Reuters, 15 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Michael Kors Holdings Limited to Be Renamed Capri Holdings Limited". Retrieved 2018-09-26.
  11. ^ a b "Brand History". Versace. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  12. ^ Matthew (2011-01-28). "History of Versace". Fashion in Time. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  13. ^ "Gianni Versace profile". Victoria and Albert Museum. 2003-01-12. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  14. ^ a b "Versace". Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  15. ^ Gundle, Stephen (2008). Glamour: a history. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921098-5. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  16. ^ a b Khan, Urmee (2008-10-09). "Liz Hurley 'safety pin' dress voted the greatest dress". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  17. ^ "1997: Versace murdered on his doorstep". BBC News. 1997-07-15. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  18. ^ a b Horyn, Cathy (2004-06-15). "A New Half-Owner for Versace, and She's Almost 18". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  19. ^ "Versace niece's $700m birthday gift". Sydney Morning Herald. 2004-07-02. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  20. ^ "Allegra Inherits Versace's Fortune". WENN. 2004-06-30. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  21. ^ Freeman, Hadley (2004-10-04). "Versace struggles to regain its touch". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  22. ^ a b Valerie (2003-12-18). "Fabio Massimo Cacciatori quits Versace CEO". Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  23. ^ "Versace Names Di Risio as Ceo and Strengthens Board". Women's Wear Daily. HighBeam Research. 2004-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  24. ^ Meichtry, Stacy (2009-06-06). "Versace CEO Di Risio Resigns". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  25. ^ Meichtry, Stacy (2009-05-22). "Bucked by Designer, Versace CEO Eyes Exit". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  26. ^ "FT Business of Luxury Summit 2012 - Gian Giacomo Ferraris". Financial Times. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  27. ^ Binnie, Isla (2014-02-27). "Fashion house Versace sells stake to Blackstone to fund growth". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  28. ^ Binnie, Isla (27 February 2014). "Versace Sells Minority Stake to Blackstone". Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  29. ^ Mesco, Manuela (2014-02-27). "Versace Sells Minority Stake to Blackstone". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  30. ^ Henderson, Damien (2005-02-14). "Glasgow's Versace loss may suit capital". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  31. ^ Dalton, Matthew; Kapner, Suzanne (2018-09-24). "Michael Kors Woos Versace in Push for Foothold in High Fashion". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  32. ^ "Michael Kors shares sink amid Versace rumors". New York Post. 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  33. ^ "Versace To Host First Pre-Fall Show In New York". Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  34. ^ Smeyers, Mark (September 30, 2006). "Murciélago LP640 Versace". Lambo Cars. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  35. ^ "11 Incredibly Expensive Choppers". BabaMail. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  36. ^ Gumuchian, Marie-Louise (March 20, 2008). "Buckle up to Travel in Versace-Style Chopper". Reuter's. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  37. ^ Wischhover, Cheryl (October 20, 2011). "Here It Is: Versace for H&M, The Complete Collection". Fashionista. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  38. ^ Carlos, Marjon (October 30, 2015). "Versace and Lil Buck's Sneaker Collaboration Takes Flight Today". Vogue. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  39. ^ Martens, Cynthia (March 11, 2015). "Versace to Partner With China's Mind Group". WWD. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  40. ^ "ABIL Group partners with luxury brand Versace". Bricking News. October 29, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  41. ^ Conlon, Scarlett (June 15, 2015). "Donatella on Her Givenchy Campaign". Vogue. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  42. ^ "Glitz abounds in Gold Coast tribute to Versace". The New Zealand Herald. 2000-05-27. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  43. ^ Templeman, Tiana (2000-09-15). "The Rise and Fall... and Rise... of Palazzo Versace". Let's Travel Magazine. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  44. ^ Calligeros, Marissa (2012-02-29). "Gold Coast's Palazzo Versace sold to Chinese for $68.5 million". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  45. ^ Skene, Kathleen (2014-04-29). "Palazzo Versace GM Russell Durnell leaves five-star hotel's top job". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  46. ^ Fahy, Michael (September 10, 2015). "Palazzo Versace hotel in Dubai to open in December". The National. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  47. ^ Bergin, Olivia (20 August 2013). "Palazzo Versace to open in Macau". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  48. ^ "Versace teams up with SJM to outfit Macau hotel". China Economic Review. SinoMedia Holdings. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  49. ^ O'Keeffe, Kate (2013-08-21). "Palazzo Versace Hotel Slated for Macau". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
  50. ^ "History". Palazzo Versace. Retrieved March 30, 2016.

External linksEdit