The history of Versace started with the vision of one man in Italy and became a family affair. Gianni Versace SpA, usually referred to as just Versace, is a family owned fashion house headquartered in Milan. Gianni Versace started the company in 1978 with the help of his older brother Santo and his younger sister Donatella.
Gianni Versace was born on December 2, 1946, in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. He began designing clothes at the age of 22 when a local garment maker hired him to design a collection. At the age of 26, he moved to Milan to begin a career in fashion. Versace designed clothing lines for several different labels before setting out on his own. In early 1978 with the help of Santo and Donatella, the first Versace store was opened in Milan. The first Versace signature collection was premiered in March of 1978 and the first menswear collection was presented in September of the same year.
Gianni Versace gained worldwide recognition as an innovative fashion designer. He redefined fashion by combining it with rock 'n' roll, art and celebrity. By merging the worlds of fashion and entertainment, his shows became pop-culture events. Versace also designed for opera, ballet and the stage. He was inspired by films, art and design history. Gianni Versace was murdered outside of his Miami home on July 15, 1997.
Donatella assisted Gianni by overseeing the photographic advertising campaigns that contributed to the overall visual style of Versace. She is the vice president of the board and inherited the position of creative director after the death of her brother.
Gianni Versace SpA continues to design, manufacture and distribute haute couture, menswear, accessories, fragrances and fine jewelry. There are approximately 100 Versace boutiques around the world including New York, Rome, London, Paris and Dubai. The Versace name has also become associated with fine hotels and resorts.