Gianni Versace S.r.l. (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒanni verˈsaːtʃe]), usually referred to as Versace (/vərˈsɑː/ vər-SAH-chay),[a] is an Italian luxury fashion company founded by Gianni Versace in 1978 known for flashy prints and bright colors.[7][8][9] The company produces Italian-made ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as haute couture under its Atelier Versace brand[10] and licenses its name and branding to Luxottica for eyewear.[11] Gianni Versace being a native of Calabria, in the ancient Magna Grecia (Greater Greece), the company logo is inspired by Medusa, a figure from Greek mythology.[12]

Gianni Versace S.r.l.
TypeSubsidiary (S.r.l.)
Founded1978; 45 years ago (1978), as Gianni Versace Donna
FounderGianni Maria Versace
Key people
  • Ready-to-wear
  • haute couture
  • leather accessories
  • footwear
  • Increase€1.7 billion (2017)[3]
  • €635 million (2013)[3]
Number of employees
ParentCapri Holdings

Versace's dedication to pushing the limits of fashion is seen in its haute couture collection, Atelier Versace, where the company displays its artistry via handcrafted, expensive items. With this limited-edition collection, Versace showcases its commitment to fine tailoring, elaborate workmanship, and opulent materials. The design brand has worked on some noteworthy partnerships throughout the years, but the eyewear cooperation with Luxottica stands out. Versace is now able to provide a unique selection of optical frames and sunglasses that perfectly capture the brand's glitzy and daring image, thanks to this partnership. In addition to being a key part of the brand's designs, Versace's famous Medusa emblem symbolizes the company's devotion to Greek mythology. It lends a cultural and historical dimension to its identity. Versace's popularity among celebrities, who often dress in the brand's designs for red carpet events and music videos, is evidence of its cultural influence and adds to the brand's lasting reputation in the world of high fashion.

History and operations edit

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”[13] and opened its first boutique in Milan's Via della Spiga.[14][15] Gianni independently controlled much of the brand, from designing to retailing.[7] In 1982, the company expanded its offerings to include accessories, jewelry, home furnishings, and china.[16] In 1993, Donatella Versace added the Young Versace and Versus lines.[13] In 1994, the brand gained international coverage from the black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley, referred in the media as "that dress".[8][17][18]

Versace has designed for various music artists, including stage and album cover costumes for Elton John in 1992 and outfits for Michael Jackson. Versace also designed clothing for the Princess of Wales and Princess Caroline of Monaco.[16]

After the murder of Gianni Versace in 1997, his sister Donatella, formerly vice-president, took over as creative director, and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO.[19] Donatella's daughter Allegra Versace was left a 50 percent stake in the company, which she assumed control of on her eighteenth birthday.[20][21][22]

In 2000, the green Versace dress worn by Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy Awards gained extensive media attention. The dress was voted the fifth most iconic dress of all time and Elizabeth Hurley's black Versace dress was voted most iconic dress of all time, according to a 2008 Daily Telegraph poll.[18]

With the company's profits in decline in the early 2000s,[20][23] Fabio Massimo Cacciatori was hired as interim CEO to reorganise and restructure Versace Group in 2003.[24] Cacciatori resigned in December 2003 due to "disputes with the Versace family".[24] In 2004, Giancarlo di Risio from IT Holding became CEO, until he resigned in 2009 due to disagreements with Donatella.[25][26][27] In May 2016, the Versace Group appointed Jonathan Akeroyd as CEO and board member.[28]

In February 2014, The Blackstone Group purchased a 20 percent stake in Versace for 210 million.[29][30][31]

As of 2016, more than 1500 boutiques operate worldwide; the first boutique outside of Italy opened in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1991.[32]

In September 2018, Michael Kors offered to buy Versace for two billion euros.[33][34] Versace announced all Blackstone and Versace family shares were sold to Michael Kors Limited.[35] The acquisition was completed in December 2018, with Donatella Versace remaining head of creative design.[36] In January 2019, Gianni Versace S.r.l. joined Capri Holdings Limited, forming a new global fashion luxury group alongside Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo.[35][37]

In 2018, Versace stopped using fur in its products and in 2020 announced it would stop using kangaroo leather.[38] In October 2018, Versace announced its first Pre-Fall season show in New York, scheduled on Gianni Versace's December 2 birth date.[39] In 2021, Versace opened its first SoHo, New York boutique.[40]

Collaborations edit

  • In 2006, Gianni Versace S.r.l. collaborated with Lamborghini to produce the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 Versace. The car included a Versace-designed white satin interior with Versace's logo embroidered into the seats. The car was available in black or white and came with a luggage set, driving shoes, and driving gloves. Only ten units were produced.[41]
The Versace boutique in Milan, Italy
Ashtray (22 cm × 22 cm) designed by Versace and produced by German porcelain company Rosenthal
  • In 2008, Versace collaborated with AgustaWestland to create the AgustaWestland AW109 Grand Versace VIP luxury helicopter, including a Versace leather interior and Versace-designed exterior.[42][43]
  • In 2009, Versace and H&M released a new line for H&M's stores, including men's and women's clothing and home items, such as pillows and blankets.[44]
  • In 2015, Versace collaborated with dancer Lil Buck to release a line of sneakers.[45]
  • In 2015, Versace partnered with Mind Group. The companies designed luxury residential towers in China called the Versace Residencies. The goal of the creators was to combine Versace's luxury home elements with elements of traditional Chinese culture.[46]
  • Also in 2015, Versace partnered with the ABIL Group in India to develop another luxury residential project, located in South Mumbai.[47]
  • In 2015, Donatella Versace was featured in Riccardo Tisci's Givenchy campaign.[48]
  • In 2018, Ronnie Fieg and Donatella Versace debuted their Kith x Versace collection, featuring a modified medusa logo with "KITH" written over its eyes.[49]
  • In 2019, Versace collaborated with Turkish Airlines to provide amenity kits to business class passengers on long-haul flights. The kits came in separately styled bags for men and women and featured the Versace Eros line of products for men and Versace Eros pour Femme products for women.[50]
  • Versace Men's Fall 2019 collection featured several items with the logo of Ford Motor Company. According to the fashion house, the two companies joined forces to channel "the excitement of buying your first car."[51]
  • In September 2021, Versace presented a joint fashion show with Fendi, titled "The Swap",[52] consisting of two collections: Fendi's vision for Versace and Versace's vision for Fendi.[53] This marked the first time two artistic directors of brands in different fashion groups designed collections for each other.[54]
  • In 2021, Versace collaborated with Lady Gaga to celebrate Born This Way's tenth anniversary by creating a capsule collection with proceeds benefiting the Born This Way Foundation.[55]
  • In 2023, Versace and Dua Lipa collaborated together to produce a women's collection called 'La Vacanza' which includes beachwear-inspired designs.[56][57] It was planned to be unveiled and presented at the Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2023 and to be available for delivery immediately after the festival.[58]
647 Fifth Avenue location, New York City, 2013

Testimonials edit

A Gianni Versace dress

Versace has always counted important public figures and celebrities among its clients. Between 1980 and 1983, Loretta Goggi was the first Italian artist to flaunt outfits signed by Gianni Versace, which she wore on many public and television occasions.[59] Elton John, who has a strong connection to the Versace family, has consistently worn Versace jewelry, just as Lady Diana often wore the designer's clothing. Lady Diana shared a close friendship with Gianni Versace and relied on him for various events.[60] Other celebrities who have worn Versace at public events include Beyoncé, Cindy Crawford (who famously wore the red dress in 1991), Elizabeth Hurley (who wore the famous Safety Pin Dress in 1994), and Jennifer Lopez (who wore the iconic Jungle Dress in 2000) and often chooses the fashion house for her social engagements.[61] Notable figures who have lent their image to Versace's advertising campaigns include Madonna (in 1995 and 2005), Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Richardson, Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Patrick Dempsey, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the musical group The Corrs, Halle Berry, and Lady Gaga (in 2014).[62][63] Among the models who have walked the runway for Versace are Carolyn Murphy, Angela Lindvall, Daria Werbowy, Miriam Escott IV, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bündchen, Kate Moss, Tuki Brando, Graham Love, and Joel West. In July 2011, Lady Gaga exclusively wore vintage outfits, the latest collection's garments, and accessories from the brand for an entire month. She also donned a Versace ensemble in the music video for "The Edge of Glory".[64][62]

In 2020, the singer Elodie showcased the Versace brand at the 2020 Sanremo Music Festival, wearing it on the red carpet and for all four of her performances. She also wore Versace on the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival.[65][66][67] She continued to wear Versace and was invited to the Versace FW2020 event. On July 20th, 2023, Global K-Pop star Stray Kids Hyunjin was named the global brand ambassador. [68]

Palazzo Versace edit

Soheil Abedian, of Sunland Group, approached Versace in 1997 proposing a luxury hotel built for the Versace brand. The first Palazzo Versace opened on Australia's Gold Coast on 15 September 2000.[69][70] The hotel was sold to a Chinese consortium in December 2012.[71][72] The second Palazzo, the Palazzo Versace Dubai, was completed in December 2015 and is located on the foreshore of Dubai Creek.[73] A third Palazzo, the Palazzo Versace Macau, is under construction as part of a partnership with Macau's largest casino operator SJM Holdings.[74][75][76] The Palazzo Versace hotels are the world's first fashion-branded hotels.[77]

Controversy edit

In August 2019, Versace produced a range of tops suggesting Hong Kong and Macau were separate countries. Versace apologized, saying it made a mistake in the design and would destroy the offending clothing.[78] In response to the controversy, Yang Mi ended her relationship as brand ambassador for Versace.[79]

Notes edit

  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.[4][5][6]

References edit

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External links edit