Versace, Gianni

born Dec. 2, 1946, Reggio Calabria, Italy
died July 15, 1997, Miami Beach, Fla., U.S.

Italian fashion designer.

He was born to a dressmaker mother. After working for several Italian ateliers in Milan, in 1978 Versace established his own company, Gianni Versace SpA. Throughout the 1980s and '90s he built a fashion empire by producing ensembles that oozed sensuality and sexuality. He staged his seasonal fashion shows like rock concerts at his lavish design headquarters in Milan. On July 15, 1997, Versace was shot and killed on the front steps of his Miami Beach, Fla., home, allegedly by the serial killer Andrew Cunanan. At the time of his death, many believed that the designer's 25-year career was at a peak.

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▪ 1998

      Italian fashion designer (b. Dec. 2, 1946, Reggio di Calabria, Italy—d. July 15, 1997, Miami Beach, Fla.), was the first designer to recognize that fashion was just like any other form of popular culture—it had entertainment value. His seasonal fashion shows at his lavish design headquarters in Milan were staged like rock concerts, with groupies and paparazzi awaiting the arrival of both celebrity guests like Elton John and Madonna and Versace's troupe of models, who were paid such high salaries that the press dubbed them "supermodels." Though his glittering shows featured strobe lights, TV screens flashing colour images, and loud pop music, his designs were rarely upstaged by the excessive atmosphere. Versace built an empire by producing "prostitute-style" ensembles that oozed sensuality and sexuality. His most famous designs, notably sophisticated bondage gear, polyvinyl chloride baby-doll dresses, and silver-metal mesh togas, gained him worldwide celebrity. Versace's mother, Francesca, was a dressmaker, and it was from her that he learned the fine art of cutting and stitching. He left his hometown in the early 1970s to pursue a design career in Milan and found work in the ateliers of Genny, Complice, Mario Valentino, and Callaghan. Backed by the Girombellis, an Italian fashion family, Versace established (1978) his own company, Gianni Versace SpA. In the '80s his then family-run business thrived. His brother, Santo, served as CEO, and his sister, Donatella, was a designer and vice president. At the time of his death, his company produced clothing for men, women, and children as well as handbags, precious jewelry, perfume, and items for the home. In addition, many fashion aficionados believed that his 25-year design career was at its peak. Versace had tempered his garish early work, as evidenced by the increasingly refined yet colourful and sexy ensembles he created, especially those worn by Diana, princess of Wales (q.v.). Versace was shot and killed, allegedly by spree killer Andrew Cunanan, outside Casa Casaurina, his Miami Beach estate.

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▪ Italian fashion designer
born December 2, 1946, Reggio Calabria, Italy
died July 15, 1997, Miami Beach, Florida, U.S.
 Italian fashion designer known for his daring fashions and glamorous lifestyle.

      His mother was a dressmaker, and Gianni was raised watching her work on designs in her boutique. After graduating from high school, Versace worked for a short time at his mother's shop before moving in 1972 to Milan, where he worked for several Italian ateliers, including Genny, Complice, Mario Valentino, and Callaghan. Backed by the Girombellis, an Italian fashion family, Versace established his own company, Gianni Versace SpA, in 1978 and staged his first ready-to-wear show under his own name that same year. His brother, Santo, served as CEO, and his sister, Donatella, was a designer and vice president.

      Versace designed throughout the 1980s and '90s and built a fashion empire by producing ensembles that oozed sensuality and sexuality. His most famous designs included sophisticated bondage gear, polyvinyl chloride baby-doll dresses, and silver-mesh togas. Versace's detractors considered his flashy designs vulgar. Unfazed by such criticism, Versace staged his seasonal fashion shows like rock concerts at his lavish design headquarters in Milan, with groupies and paparazzi awaiting the arrival of both his celebrity friends, such as Elton John and Madonna, and his loyal models, such as Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell, who were paid such high salaries that the press dubbed them “supermodels.” Versace was credited with turning the fashion world into the high-powered, celebrity-besotted industry it remains to the present day.

      As his success continued to grow, Versace began establishing boutiques throughout the United States with the help of his family. He also focused on publishing a series of coffee-table books that featured his sketches and photographs of his creations by esteemed photographers such as Richard Avedon (Avedon, Richard), who also worked on Versace's advertising campaigns. Versace's interest in the new and daring continued to flourish, and in 1989 he designed a line of haute couture for the first time. Also in 1989 he created costumes for the San Francisco Opera; a great enthusiast of the opera and ballet, Versace explored costume design as a side interest throughout his career. In 1993 Versace was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the inner ear. He battled this cancer successfully and then began to pass much of his business responsibilities onto his family.

      On July 15, 1997, while returning to his Miami Beach home after a morning walk, Versace was shot and killed on his front steps, allegedly by the serial killer Andrew Cunanan. At the time of his death, many believed that the designer's 25-year career was at a peak; he had tempered his garish early work and begun to create increasingly refined yet colourful and sexy ensembles. His company had expanded to produce clothing for men, women, and children, as well as handbags, precious jewelry, perfume, and items for the home. Versace's work was honoured by a posthumous retrospective held from December 1997 to March 1998 at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. After his death, his sister took over as head designer for the Versace label.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Versace, Gianni — (1946 1997)    Born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, Versace grew up playing at his mother s couture business. Although he studied architecture and music, his true passion was for fashion. During the 1960s, Versace opened two shops (one for men, one …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Versace, Gianni — (2 dic. 1946, Reggio Calabria, Italia–15 jul. 1997, Miami Beach, Fla., EE.UU.). Diseñador de modas italiano. Hijo de una madre costurera, luego de trabajar en varios talleres italianos en Milán, en 1978 fundó su propia compañía, Gianni Versace… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Versace — Gianni Versace S.p.A Rechtsform S.p.A. Gründung 1978 Sitz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Versace (disambiguation) — Versace may refer to:*Allegra Versace (b. 1986), the daughter of Donatella Versace *Donatella Versace (b. 1955), Italian fashion designer, sister of Gianni Versace *Gianni Versace S.p.A. Italian clothier, founded in 1978. *Gianni Versace (1946… …   Wikipedia

  • Gianni Versace — Versace, Gianni (1946 1997). Diseñador de moda Nació en Calabria, Italia, donde trabajó como aprendiz en el taller de su madre, convirtiéndose después en uno de los mayores hitos de la moda. Su estilo innovador incluía materiales como el caucho y …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gianni Versace — Infobox Fashion Designer caption= name=Gianni Versace nationality=Italian birth date=birth date|1946|12|2 birth place= Reggio Calabria, Italy death date=death date and age|1997|7|15|1946|12|2 death place=Miami Beach, Florida, United States label… …   Wikipedia

  • Gianni Versace — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar al auto …   Wikipedia Español

  • Versace, Donatella — (1955 )    Born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, she is one of one of four children. Her father was a businessman to Italian aristocrats and her mother was a seamstress. She attended Florence University and studied languages but soon assumed the… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Gianni Versace — (* 2. Dezember 1946 in Reggio Calabria, Italien; † 15. Juli 1997 in Miami Beach) war ein italienischer Modeschöpfer und Gründer des Modeunternehmens Versace. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Frühe Jahre 2 Tätigkeit als Designer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gianni Versace — Gianni Versace, né le 2 décembre 1946 à Reggio de Calabre, et mort le 15 juillet 1997 à Miami Beach, était un grand couturier italien. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Gianni Versace S.p.A. Group 3 Référe …   Wikipédia en Français

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