In the 1970s, Gianni Versace was an up-and-coming fashion designer in Milan but dreamed of starting his own fashion brand. In 1978, Gianni Versace opened the very first Versace boutique in Milan and was one of the only designers in the industry to control every aspect of Versace including how his clothing was designed, displayed, marketed and more.
In 1982, he expanded his product offering to include designer accessories, furniture, and fine China.
Gianni’s connections to the music industry and his innovative approach to marketing made him one of the most successful fashion designers in the world. High-profile stars such as Madonna, Cher, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and Duran Duran were fans of Versace.
He is credited with launching the “supermodel” into pop culture during his Fall 1991 fashion show. Fashion, music and culture collided on the runway. Models Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista walked the Versace show and ended it singing George Michaels' "Freedom! '90".
Gianni Versace unveiled the iconic Medusa head logo, designed by Gianni, in 1993. Gianni, who grew up in Rome, was inspired by the city’s ruins. Historians say that he chose Medusa because of the way she made people fall hopelessly in love with her and he hoped that Versace would have the same effect on its consumers.
Vintage Versace is most sought after for its vibrant prints, fashion emblazoned with the Medusa Head logo, as well as its luxurious vintage silk shirts and loungewear. Form-fitting vintage pencil skirts are still in high demand, but so are Versace’s more forgiving vintage sheath dresses, and mens vintage blazers.
In the height of his career, Gianni Versace was tragically murdered in 1997 at age 50. Gianni’s sister, Donatella Versace took over the role of the creative director and has remained at the helm.