Born in the Italian town of Reggio di Calabria in 1955, the sensational Donatella Versace’s journey to becoming one of the world’s most successful fashion designers and businesswoman had begun – changing the fashion world forever. In the mid1970’s, prior to attending the University of Florence, Donatella joined her brother Giovanni’s growing fashion company.
Donatella was known as his inspirational muse for his various lines, she was even the main inspiration for one of Versace’s perfumes, Blonde. Gianni valued her critiques of his designs, though he preferred a more baroque style to Donatella’s minimalism. Donatella was a very powerful critic.
When the company was established in 1978, Donatella became Gianni’s advisor and took the role of vice president. She began designing in the early eighties and prior to Giovanni’s extremely tragic and sudden death in 1997 Donatella took over most aspects of Versace. Through ambition, passion, hard work and respect for her brothers vision Donatella achieved massive success.
In the nineties Donatella launched a new line Versus, channeling the younger generation. She used well-known catwalk models knowing it would generate huge press coverage for Versace and put the fashion house on the map on an even bigger more celebrated stage. Today the label focuses on the modern working woman which is inspired by the like of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Madonna.
Donatella married model Paul Beck in the 1980’s and they had two children Allegra and Daniel. Allegra was very close to Gianni and was left half of the company after his death. Daniel received Gianni’s art collection, which is reportedly now worth more than the 37 million pounds it was valued at after his death. Allegra now works for the company, where she serves on the board of directors.
Alongside her enormous fashion achievements the Versace brand has created the Palazzo Versace resort on the Gold Coast of Australia as well as the Palazzo Versace resort in Dubai.
Donatella continues to honour her brother through the brand, more than 20 years after his death. Versace’s Spring 2018 collection is known as “The Versace Tribute Collection”, created by Donatella in honour of her brother. This collection is a tribute to the life and work of Gianni Versace. “We pay homage to not only his artistic genius but to who he was as a man, and above all, as my brother”, Donatella wrote for the collection’s video. Five of Gianni’s original supermodels also walked down the runway in honour of Gianni.
Donatella Versace is a force to be reckoned with, a woman of many talents and in essence an iconic, powerfully influential and the absolute epitome of an empowered woman.