Gay fashion designer murdered
- It was a twisted tale of sex, drugs, and a serial killer on the run that ultimately ended in the death of a fashion icon. How did Versace's assassin get away with his murder—and what drove him to do it in the first place?
- Awards and tributes
- Notes and references
- Costume designer, costume and wardrobe
- In popular culture
- Who is Andrew Cunanan, the Man Who Murdered Gianni Versace?
- Death and legacy
- The True Story of Gianni Versace's Murder
- He was a private-school educated serial killer with a genius IQ.
It was a twisted tale of sex, drugs, and a serial killer on the run that ultimately ended in the death of a fashion icon. How did Versace's assassin get away with his murder—and what drove him to do it in the first place?
Versace met his partner Antonio D'Amico, a model, in 1982. Their relationship lasted until Versace's murder. Before his death, Versace was diagnosed with cancer of the ear. During that time, D'Amico worked as a designer for the company, having become head designer for Istante and Versus Sport. Versace's will left D'Amico with a lifelong pension of 50 million lire (about US$26,000) per month, and the right to live in any of Versace's homes in Italy and the United States. However, due to the Versace family's interference he only obtained a fraction of these allowances. D'Amico now runs his own fashion company.
Giovanni Maria "Gianni" Versace (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒanni verˈsaːtʃe];[a] 2 December 1946 – 15 July 1997) was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, an international fashion house that produces accessories, fragrances, make-up, home furnishings, and clothes. He also designed costumes for theatre and films. As a friend of Eric Clapton, Diana, Princess of Wales, Naomi Campbell, Duran Duran, Madonna, Elton John, Cher, Sting, and many other celebrities, he was one of the first designers to link fashion to the music world. He and his partner Antonio D'Amico were regulars on the international party scene.
Awards and tributes
In 1982, Versace expanded the business into jewelry and houseware, designing luxury furnishings, china, and textiles for the home. He was unusual in retaining complete creative control over all aspects of his company. In 1989, the firm expanded into haute couture with the launch of Atelier Versace. Versace became known for employing celebrities in his marketing campaigns and seating them in the front rows of his fashion shows, the first to do so. He is also credited with inventing the supermodel vogue of the 1990s, by discovering and featuring major supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista, all of whom he featured both on the runway and in his ad campaigns.
Throughout his career, Versace was a prolific costume designer for stage productions and performing artists. He claimed, "for me the theatre is liberation", and his designs were well served by his penchant for bold colors, drapery, embellishment, and an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion history. He was a collaborator at the La Scala Theatre Ballet in Milan, and designed the costumes for the Strauss ballet Josephslegende in 1982 and Donizetti's Don Pasquale. He also designed the costumes for five Béjart Ballet productions: Dionysos (1984), Leda and the Swan (1987), Malraux ou la Métamorphoses des Dieux (1986), Chaka Zulu (1989), and the Ballet du XXme Siècle. In 1990, he designed the costumes for the San Francisco Opera's production of Capriccio. Versace designed Elton John's costumes for his 1992 world tour.
Notes and references
Among Versace's most famous innovations was his 1982 invention of a type of super-light chainmail called 'Oroton', which became a signature material in his outfits. His suits were inspired more by his experience in female tailoring, departing from masculine Savile Row models by crafting suits which accentuated the male form and "insisted on men as sex objects."
In 1973, he became the designer of "Byblos", a successful Genny's youthful line, and in 1977, he designed Complice, another, more experimental, line for Genny. A few years later, encouraged by his success, Versace presented his first signature collection for women at the Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan. His first fashion show followed in September of the same year. His first boutique was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978.
Costume designer, costume and wardrobe
From 1978, Versace built the company with the support of his family, employing his sister Donatella as Vice President and his brother Santo as President of the company. Donatella's purview extended to creative oversight, where she acted as a key consultant to Versace. Gianni would also come to employ Donatella's husband, Paul Beck, as menswear director.
Versace was very proud of his southern Italian heritage and infused his designs with motifs inspired by historical fashion and art movements, especially Graeco-Roman art. This is evident in the company's logo, the Medusa Head, and reoccurring motifs like the Greek key. He also allowed his love for contemporary art to inspire his work, creating graphic prints based on the art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
In popular culture
To all our readers in the Netherlands,
We will get straight to the point: This Wednesday we ask you to protect Wikipedia's independence. We depend on donations averaging about €10. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this gave €2, we could keep Wikipedia thriving for years to come. The price of your coffee this Wednesday is all we need. If cyberspace is the vast ocean, websites like Wikipedia are like the ships that leave Rotterdam and Amsterdam daily to every corner of the world. We don't have ads or paywalls as they are like dams and floodgates, controlling the flow of information. Wikipedia is a place for you to learn, not a place for advertising. It unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers and the donors who keep us thriving. Please take a minute to help us keep Wikipedia growing and flood the world with free knowledge.
After opening his Milan boutique in 1978, Versace quickly became a sensation on the international fashion scene. His designs employed vivid colors, bold prints, and sexy cuts, which were a refreshing contrast to the prevailing taste for muted colors and simplicity. His aesthetic "combined luxurious classicism with overt sexuality", attracting much criticism in addition to praise. He is quoted as saying, "I don't believe in good taste", which was reflected in his "brazen defiance of the rules of fashion." A saying became current referencing Versace's famous rivalry with Giorgio Armani: "Armani dresses the wife, Versace dresses the mistress."