|Estimated value:||€1.7 billion|
|Country of origin:||Italy|
|Source of Wealth:||entrepreneur|
Gianni Versace (December 2, 1946 – July 15, 1997) – Italian fashion designer and founder of the international fashion house Versace, which produces perfumes, cosmetics, accessories, clothing and home goods. Versace created costumes for film, theater and opera productions. He was friends with Eric Clapton, Princess Diana of Wales, Naomi Campbell, Duran Duran, Madonna, Elton John, Cher, Sting and many other celebrities. One of the first fashion designers to combine fashion and music. Gianni and his partner Antonio d’Amiko regularly attended fashion parties.
On July 15, 1997, at the age of 50, Versace was killed on the doorstep of his home, Casa Casuarina, in Miami Beach, Florida, by serial killer Andrew Kunenen.
Giovanni Maria Versace was born on December 2, 1946 in Reggio Calabria, Italy to the family of seamstress Francesca Versace and her husband. Gianni grew up with his older brother Santo and younger sister Donatella. Gianni Tina’s older sister died of tetanus at the age of 12. In his youth, Gianni was fond of the history of ancient Greece, which played a huge role in the development of Italy. He attended the Lyceum Classico Tommaso Campanella, where he studied Latin and Ancient Greek, but did not finish the course. He was also greatly influenced by the American artist Andy Warhol.
He began his career in his hometown at the Francesca Versace fashion studio, owned by his mother. The main clients of the studio were representatives of wealthy families in the Calabria region – the wives of businessmen and top managers. Gianni helped his mother sew clothes, get accessories, and also source fabrics. Here he learned to sketch, to draw, to cut fabrics and to sew clothes. In 1972, Versace moved to Milan and became a guest designer on several ready-made clothing lines, including Genny, Callaghan and Complice. In 1973 he became the designer of Byblos, the youth line of the Genny fashion house, and in 1977 developed the Complice line at his own request.
March 28, 1978 Versace presents the first brand collection of women’s clothing in the Milan Museum of Art of the Palazzo della Permanente. The first full-fledged fashion show takes place in September of the same year. In 1978 Gianni opened a boutique in Milan’s most prestigious shopping street – Via della Spiga. Also in 1978, Gianni founds his own fashion house, Gianni Versace SpA, appointing his older brother Santo as President and his sister Donatella as Vice President. Donatella is responsible for creative oversight and serves as Versace’s principal advisor. Gianni also recruits Donatella’s husband, Paul Beck, as director of men’s clothing lines.
In the 1980s, Gianni develops clothing for his own brand and explores new business areas. In 1981 he launched the women’s fragrance Gianni Versace and in 1984 the men’s fragrance L’Homme. In 1982, Versace expanded its business by beginning production of jewelry and homewares including furniture, textiles and tableware under the Versace Home brand.
In 1989, Versace declared itself in the world of haute couture and began creating haute couture collections under the Atelier Versace brand and staging shows at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. He used the most famous photographers and models for his advertising campaigns and fashion shows in the 1980s and 1990s. The products of his fashion house were represented by Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and many others.
He intensively cultivates the cult of top models, paid his beloved fashion models fabulous fees and shaped their image as superstars in mass culture. According to Donatella Versace, “Gianni created this phenomenon while simultaneously putting the best models on the podium.”
Gianni Versace reached the peak of his fame in the early 1990s with his famous clients – Madonna and Princess of Wales Diana.
Versace was shot dead by Andrew Kunenen on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion, Casa Casuarina, on the morning of July 15, 1997, after returning from a walk along Ocean Drive. Versace usually sent his assistant to the News Cafe for the morning paper, but on that fateful day he decided to leave himself. Versace’s death was recorded at 9:21 a.m. at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Eight days later, Künenen committed suicide in a houseboat surrounded by a police ring. Künenen was obsessed with Versace and often boasted of his acquaintance with the famous fashion designer and other famous people. FBI agents believed Versace and Kunenen met in San Francisco, but it’s not certain what type of relationship they had. Reporter Maureen Orth published an article in Vanity Fair magazine in 2008, in which she claimed that Künenen and Versace met in a San Francisco nightclub in 1990 and may have continued to grow closer. However, the Versace family has always categorically denied the fact that Gianni and his killer were together.
Gianni Versace’s body was cremated and the ashes buried in a family vault in the Maltrasio cemetery (municipality of Cernobbio), near Lake Como.
Decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live. …
In the past, people were born royal. …I am not interested in the past, except as the road to the future. …
Don’t go into trends. …That is the key of this collection, being yourself.
|Estimated value:||€1.7 billion|