Gianni Versace Biography - Assassination, House & Sister

Gianni Versace, a designer to celebrities and royalty such as Princess Diana, introduced vibrancy and art to an industry that was regarded as out of touch with street culture.

Gianni Versace: Who Was He?

Gianni Versace was a renowned fashion designer in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1978, he started his first clothes brand in Milan, Italy. Versace unveiled his first couture collection in 1989. He expanded his fashion business to include home furnishings and fragrances. Versace created for celebrities like as Madonna, Princess Diana, Elton John, and Tina Turner throughout his career. In 1997, he was shot and died outside his house in South Beach, Florida.

Early Years and Career

Versace was born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, on December 2, 1946. He was reared in the design profession, learning his skill from his mother, who operated her own dressmaking business. After graduating from high school, Versace went to work for his mother.


Versace relocated to Milan in 1972 and began freelance designing for Italian labels Genny, Callaghan, and Complice. Versace debuted his own women’s ready-to-wear collection in 1978. His brother Santo and sister Donatella had always worked with him in the firm.

Versace Fashion

Versace became well-known for his dazzling looks, creating a line of siren gowns that became his hallmark. He frequently fused leather and rubber using novel materials such as aluminum mesh or cutting-edge processes such as “neo-couture” laser technology. Medusa’s head was also a frequent image in many of his outfits and accessories. In 1989, he debuted his first couture collection, and by the 1990s, he had expanded his business to include two apparel lines, Versus and Instante.

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Versace Elizabeth Hurley Dress

One of his most renowned designs was a black dress held together at the sides by gold safety pins, which was worn by Elizabeth Hurley at a movie premiere in 1994, and which helped launch her career. Versace formed close friendships with a number of celebrities and supermodels, including Elton John, Madonna, and Naomi Campbell. Versace, according to Anna Wintour, “was the first to realize the value of celebrity in the front row, and the value of the supermodel, and put fashion on an international media platform.” He was also a leading designer who demonstrated the ability to combine the worlds of fashion and music.

Versace’s long career was peppered with honors, including four L’Occhio d’Oros and an American Fashion Oscar in 1993. Some of his most inventive works may be seen in theatres; he was frequently praised for his costume designs for ballets such as Richard Strauss’ Josephlegende in 1982, Gustav Mahler’s Lieb und Leid in 1983, and Bejart’s Chaka Zulu in 1989. Versace received the Maschera D’Argento award for his services to theatre in 1987. He has designed stage costumes for pop stars such as John, Madonna, and Turner.

Versace’s Empire Expansion

Versace’s creations have been displayed in a number of museums, including the National Field Museum in Chicago, the Royal College of Art in London, the Kobe City Museum in Japan, and the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Germany. Aside from apparel, the designer established his brand in other areas. In 1991, he debuted his famous Signature fragrance brand, and in 1993, he debuted his furniture and home products business. Versace also wrote novels such as Rock and Royalty, The Art of Being You, and Men Without Ties.

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Versace was just 50 years old when he was killed on July 15, 1997, outside his South Beach house in Miami, Florida. Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old spree killer who was discovered dead in a Miami Beach boathouse eight days later, shot down the beloved fashion designer. Antonio D’Amico, Versace’s lifelong partner, survived him. The duo even collaborated, with D’Amico designing for Versace Sport.


Several memorial ceremonies for Versace were conducted, including one at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. A who’s who of the fashion industry gathered to bid farewell to Versace, from Anna Wintour and Ralph Lauren to Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs. Among the artists at the tribute were Whitney Houston, Jon Bon Jovi, and John.

Versace, who designed for celebrities and royalty like Princess Diana, is recognized for bringing life and flair to an industry that was seen to be disconnected from street culture. He amassed a $807 million fortune in less than ten years. After his death, his sister took over the creative reins of the firm as head of design, while his brother Santo became CEO.

‘Gianni Versace’s Assassination’

The Assassination of Gianni Versace, a 2018 television series about Versace’s assassination, stars Edgar Ramirez as Versace, Penelope Cruz as her sister Donatella, and Darren Criss as Cunanan. The series, executive produced by Ryan Murphy, is based in part on Maureen Orth’s 1999 novel Vulgar Favours: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in US History.

Versace’s family issued an official statement before the next season’s January 17, 2018 launch date:

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“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” the family stated in a statement released through the design brand. “Because Versace did not authorize the book on which it is partly based, nor did it participate in the screenplay’s creation, this TV series should only be regarded as a work of fiction.”

FX issued its own statement in response:

“Like the original American Crime Story series The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which was based on Jeffrey Toobin’s non-fiction bestseller The Run of His Life, FX’s follow-up The Assassination Of Gianni Versace is based on Maureen Orth’s heavily researched and authenticated non-fiction best-seller Vulgar Favours, which investigated Andrew Cunanan’s true life crime spree.” We stand behind Ms. Orth’s rigorous reporting.”