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Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace

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Gianni Versace was an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 fashion designer and founder of Gianni Versace S.p.A.
Versace
Gianni Versace S.p.A. , usually referred to as Versace, is an Italian fashion label founded by Gianni Versace in 1978.The first Versace boutique was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978, and its popularity was immediate. Today, Versace is one of the world's leading international fashion houses...

, an international
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 fashion house
Fashion House
Fashion House is an American telenovela that aired at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT Monday through Saturday on MyNetworkTV stations. The series premiered on September 5, 2006 and concluded on December 5, 2006...

, which produces accessories, fragrances
Perfume
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

, makeup and home furnishings as well as clothes. He also designed costumes for the theatre and films, and was a friend of Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

, Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, Cher
Cher
Cher is an American recording artist, television personality, actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in...

, Sting, and Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

 among many others. Openly gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

, Versace and his partner Antonio D'Amico
Antonio D'Amico
Antonio D'Amico is a model and fashion designer. He is best known as the partner of Gianni Versace.-Biography:D'Amico was born in Mesagne, Province of Brindisi, Italy, and later lived in Milan...

 were regulars on the international party scene. Versace was murdered outside his Miami Beach home, the former Casa Casuarina now known as "The Villa By Barton G.", at the age of 50 by spree killer
Spree killer
A spree killer is someone who embarks on a murderous assault on two or more victims in a short time in multiple locations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a spree killing as "killings at two or more locations with almost no time break between murders."-Definition:According to the...

 Andrew Cunanan
Andrew Cunanan
Andrew Phillip Cunanan was an American serial killer who murdered at least five people, including fashion designer Gianni Versace, during a three-month period in 1997, ending with Cunanan's suicide, at age 27...

.

Early life


Gianni Versace was born in Reggio Calabria
Reggio Calabria
Reggio di Calabria , commonly known as Reggio Calabria or Reggio, is the biggest city and the most populated comune of Calabria, southern Italy, and is the capital of the Province of Reggio Calabria and seat of the Council of Calabrian government.Reggio is located on the "toe" of the Italian...

, Italy, on December 2, 1946, where he grew up with his older brother Santo
Santo Versace
Santo Versace is the president and co-chief executive officer of Gianni Versace SpA, based in Milan, Italy. Since 2008 he has been elected as Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Republic in the constituency of Calabria...

 and younger sister Donatella
Donatella Versace
Donatella Versace is an Italian fashion designer and current Vice-President of the Versace Group, as well as chief designer. She owns 20 percent of the entire stock market assets of Versace. Her brother, Santo Versace, owns 30 percent...

, along with their father and dressmaker mother, Francesca. An older sister, Tina, died at the age of 12 from an improperly treated tetanus
Tetanus
Tetanus is a medical condition characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers. The primary symptoms are caused by tetanospasmin, a neurotoxin produced by the Gram-positive, rod-shaped, obligate anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani...

 infection
Infection
An infection is the colonization of a host organism by parasite species. Infecting parasites seek to use the host's resources to reproduce, often resulting in disease...

.

Versace began his apprenticeship at a young age, helping his mother find precious stones and gold braid
Braid
A braid is a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibres, wire, or human hair...

 with which to embroider
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

 dresses. He studied architecture before moving to Milan at the age of 26 to work in fashion design
Fashion design
Fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. Fashion design is influenced by cultural and social latitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories....

.

In the mid-1970s, his knits drew the attention of headhunter
Recruiter
A recruiter is someone engaging in recruitment, or the solicitation of individuals to fill jobs or positions within a corporation, nonprofit organization, sports team, the military, etc. Recruiters may work within an organization's human resources department or on an outsourced basis...

s at Genny and Callaghan. Complice hired him to design their leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

 and suede collections, and a few years later, encouraged by his success, Versace presented his first signature
Signature
A signature is a handwritten depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and intent. The writer of a signature is a signatory. Similar to a handwritten signature, a signature work describes the work as readily identifying...

 collection for women at the Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan. His first menswear
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

 collection followed in September of the same year. After presenting his menswear collection he joined Jorge Saud, who would later also become a partner with Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a...

. The first boutique
Boutique
A boutique is a small shopping outlet, especially one that specializes in elite and fashionable items such as clothing and jewelry. The word is French for "shop", via Latin from Greek ἀποθήκη , "storehouse"....

 was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978. He was influenced by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

, Ancient Roman and Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 art as well as modern abstract art
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

.

Personal life


Versace met his partner Antonio D'Amico
Antonio D'Amico
Antonio D'Amico is a model and fashion designer. He is best known as the partner of Gianni Versace.-Biography:D'Amico was born in Mesagne, Province of Brindisi, Italy, and later lived in Milan...

, a model, in 1982. The couple embarked on a long-term relationship that lasted 15 years, until Versace's murder. During that time D'Amico worked as a designer for the company, becoming head designer for Istante and Versus Sport. Versace's will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

 left D'Amico with a pension of 50 million lire
Lira
Lira is the name of the monetary unit of a number of countries, as well as the former currency of Italy, Malta, San Marino and the Vatican City and Israel. The term originates from the value of a Troy pound of high purity silver. The libra was the basis of the monetary system of the Roman Empire...

 (about $26,000) a month (for life), and the right to live in any of Versace's homes in Italy and the United States. D'Amico now runs his own fashion company.

Versace was known for doting upon his nieces and nephews: Santo's two children, Francesca and Antonio Versace, and Donatella's two children, Allegra
Allegra Versace
Allegra Beck Versace is an Italian heiress, aspiring actress, and major shareholder in the Versace company. She is the daughter of designer Donatella Versace and ex-fashion model Paul Beck.- Early life and fortune:...

 and Daniel Versace.

Death and legacy



Versace was shot dead on July 15, 1997, aged 50, on the steps of his Miami Beach
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter which separates the Beach from Miami city proper...

 mansion as he returned from a morning walk on Ocean Drive
Ocean Drive (South Beach)
Ocean Drive is a street in South Beach—the southern part of Miami Beach, Florida. It is known for its Art Deco hotels. Ocean Drive is also the location of the famed , one of the most photographed houses in North America. The street is the center of the city's Art Deco District, which is home to...

. It was his custom to take a stroll to a coffee shop that received international periodicals, to read the Italian-language newspapers. He was murdered by Andrew Cunanan
Andrew Cunanan
Andrew Phillip Cunanan was an American serial killer who murdered at least five people, including fashion designer Gianni Versace, during a three-month period in 1997, ending with Cunanan's suicide, at age 27...

, who used the same gun to commit suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 on a boat several days later. Police have said they do not know why Versace was killed. "I don't know that we are ever going to know the answers," said Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Barreto. Versace's body was cremated
Cremation
Cremation is the process of reducing bodies to basic chemical compounds such as gasses and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high-temperature burning, vaporization and oxidation....

 and his ashes returned to the family's estate near Cernobbio
Cernobbio
Cernobbio is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region of Lombardy, located about north of Milan and about northwest of Como, on the border with Switzerland...

, Italy.

In September 1997, it was announced Versace's brother, Santo
Santo Versace
Santo Versace is the president and co-chief executive officer of Gianni Versace SpA, based in Milan, Italy. Since 2008 he has been elected as Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Republic in the constituency of Calabria...

, and Jorge Saud would serve as the new CEOs of Gianni Versace S.P.A. Versace's sister, Donatella
Donatella Versace
Donatella Versace is an Italian fashion designer and current Vice-President of the Versace Group, as well as chief designer. She owns 20 percent of the entire stock market assets of Versace. Her brother, Santo Versace, owns 30 percent...

, became the new head of design.

In his will, Gianni Versace left 50 percent of his fashion empire to his niece Allegra Versace
Allegra Versace
Allegra Beck Versace is an Italian heiress, aspiring actress, and major shareholder in the Versace company. She is the daughter of designer Donatella Versace and ex-fashion model Paul Beck.- Early life and fortune:...

, daughter of . Her younger brother, Daniel, inherited Versace's rare artwork collection. Allegra inherited her stake, worth around half a billion dollars, when she turned 18 in 2004.

Actor

  • Spiceworld
    Spiceworld (film)
    Spice World is a 1997 British musical comedy film directed by Bob Spiers, written by Kim Fuller and Jamie Curtis, and starring the best-selling pop girl group the Spice Girls...

     (1997) - Scenes were deleted because of his death before the premiere.
  • Catwalk(1996, documentary film)
  • VH1 Fashion and Music Awards (1995, movie)
  • Look (1994, television show)

Costume designer, costumes, wardrobe

  • A Life Less Ordinary
    A Life Less Ordinary
    A Life Less Ordinary is a 1997 British black comedy film directed by Danny Boyle, written by John Hodge. It stars Ewan McGregor, Cameron Diaz, Holly Hunter, and Delroy Lindo.-Plot:...

     (1997, film) - costumes provider
  • Ballet for Life (1997, ballet)
  • VH1
    VH1
    VH1 or Vh1 is an American cable television network based in New York City. Launched on January 1, 1985 in the old space of Turner Broadcasting's short-lived Cable Music Channel, the original purpose of the channel was to build on the success of MTV by playing music videos, but targeting a slightly...

     Fashion Awards (1997, television) - wardrobe
  • The Birdcage
    The Birdcage
    The Birdcage is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Mike Nichols, and stars Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria, and Christine Baranski. The script was written by Elaine May...

     (1996, movie)
  • Mad Dog Time
    Mad Dog Time
    Mad Dog Time is a 1996 ensemble cast crime film written and directed by Larry Bishop, released through United Artists...

     (1996, film) - special thanks
  • Shakespeare Shorts
    Justin Chadwick
    Justin Chadwick is an English actor and television and film director.Chadwick began acting at the age of eleven. He graduated from the University of Leicester and in 1991 made his screen debut in London Kills Me...

     (1996, TV series)
  • Judge Dredd
    Judge Dredd (film)
    Judge Dredd is a 1995 American science fiction action film directed by Danny Cannon, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane, Rob Schneider, Armand Assante, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the strip of the same name in the British comic 2000 AD...

     (1995, film)
  • Magic of David Copperfield XVI: Unexplained Forces
    David Copperfield (illusionist)
    David Copperfield is an Emmy Award-winning American illusionist, and was described by Forbes as the most commercially successful magician in history. Copperfield's network specials have been nominated for 38 Emmy Awards and won a total of 21 Emmys...

     (1995, television) - costume designer
  • Showgirls
    Showgirls
    Showgirls is a 1995 American drama film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring former teen actress Elizabeth Berkley, Kyle MacLachlan, and Gina Gershon...

     (1995, film) - other
  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) - special thanks
  • Kika
    Kika
    Kika is a 1993 Spanish language Pedro Almodóvar film starring Verónica Forqué as the title character.-Plot:Kika , a young, bubbly aspiring actress turned cosmetologist, is called to the cottage of Nicholas Pierce , an American freelance writer who has moved to Spain to write about game hunting, to...

     (1993, film) - costume designer
  • Born Yesterday
    Born Yesterday
    Born Yesterday is a play written by Garson Kanin which premiered on Broadway in 1946, starring Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn. The play was adapted intoa successful 1950 film of the same name.- Plot :...

     (1993, film) - wardrobe
  • Cin cin, also known as A Fine Romance (1992, film) - costumes
  • Once Upon a Crime
    Once Upon A Crime
    Once Upon a Crime is a 1992 ensemble comedy film starring, among others; Richard Lewis, John Candy, James Belushi, Cybill Shepherd, Sean Young and Ornella Muti. The film was directed by Eugene Levy.- Plot :...

     (1992, film) - wardrobe
  • Vacanze di Natale
    Vacanze di Natale
    Vacanze di Natale is a 1983 Italian comedy film directed by Carlo Vanzina. It was shown as part of a retrospective on Italian comedy at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.-Cast:* Jerry Calà - Billo, il pianista del Night Club...

    , also known as Christmas Vacations (1991, film)
  • Crystal or Ash, Fire or Wind, As Long as It's Love (1989, film) - costumes
  • Hard to Kill
    Hard to Kill
    Hard to Kill, a 1990 action film directed by Bruce Malmuth and starring Steven Seagal, Kelly LeBrock, Frederick Coffin and William Sadler. The film stars Seagal as Detective Mason Storm, who is shot into a coma in the same fire-fight that kills his wife Felicia and son Sonny...

     (1990, film) - wardrobe
  • Miami Vice
    Miami Vice
    Miami Vice is an American television series produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami. It ran for five seasons on NBC from 1984–1989...

     (1989, TV series)

Awards and tributes

  • Versace was awarded the American Fashion Oscar on February 1, 1993.
  • President of the Italian Republic Francesco Cossiga
    Francesco Cossiga
    Francesco Cossiga was an Italian politician, the 43rd Prime Minister and the eighth President of the Italian Republic. He was also a professor of constitutional law at the University of Sassari....

    , conferred the decoration of Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana
    Italian orders of merit
    There are five orders of knighthood awarded in recognition of service to the Italian Republic. Below these sit a number of other decorations, associated and otherwise, that do not confer knighthoods...

     on him on January 24, 1986.
  • Elton John dedicated his 1997 album The Big Picture
    The Big Picture (Elton John album)
    -Outtakes:The original single version of "Live Like Horses" was a duet with Luciano Pavarotti in 1996, but was performed solo for this album. "Past Imperfect" and an alternate version of "Recover Your Soul" were completed by Elton John for inclusion on The Big Picture...

     to Versace.
  • In July 2007, a specially written ballet
    Ballet
    Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

     was performed in La Scala
    La Scala
    La Scala , is a world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the New Royal-Ducal Theatre at La Scala...

    , Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

    , Italy to mark the 10th anniversary of the fashion designer's death. Thanks Gianni, With Love was put together by French choreographer Maurice Béjart
    Maurice Béjart
    Maurice Béjart was a French born, Swiss choreographer who ran the Béjart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland. He was the son of the French philosopher Gaston Berger.- Biography :...

    , for whom Versace designed many stage costumes.

In popular culture

  • Eminem
    Eminem
    Marshall Bruce Mathers III , better known by his stage name Eminem or his alter ego Slim Shady, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor. Eminem's popularity brought his group project, D12, to mainstream recognition...

     mocked his death in his song "Criminal
    The Marshall Mathers LP
    The Marshall Mathers LP is the third studio album by American rapper Eminem. Released May 23, 2000, the album sold more than 1.76 million copies in its first week just in the US. In 2001, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year...

    " off the album The Marshall Mathers LP
    The Marshall Mathers LP
    The Marshall Mathers LP is the third studio album by American rapper Eminem. Released May 23, 2000, the album sold more than 1.76 million copies in its first week just in the US. In 2001, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year...

     (2000).
  • Versace was portrayed by actor Franco Nero
    Franco Nero
    Franco Nero is an Italian actor.-Early life:Nero was born Francesco Sparanero in San Prospero Parmense , the son of a sergeant in the...

     in the 1998 film The Versace Murder
    The Versace Murder
    -Plot:Alleged serial killer Andrew Cunanan leaves a trail of murder victims as he travels from San Francisco to Miami, finally killing world-famous fashion designer Gianni Versace...

    .
  • He is referred to by character Father Dougal McGuire in the Father Ted
    Father Ted
    Father Ted is a comedy series set in Ireland that was produced by Hat Trick Productions for British broadcaster Channel 4. Written jointly by Irish writers Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan and starring a predominantly Irish cast, it originally aired over three series from 21 April 1995 until 1 May...

     episode, "Escape From Victory
    Escape from Victory
    "Escape from Victory" is the 5th episode of the third series of Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted and the 22nd episode overall.-Synopsis:Dougal returns home to find Ted searching the parochial house frantically, because he believed they've been bugged by Dick Byrne, ahead of the annual "All-Priests...

    " (1998), saying: "You remember that fella, who was so good at fashion
    Fashion
    Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

    , they had to shoot him?"
  • He is referred to by character Betty in an episode of Mad Men (9/13/07 air date) in which she describes her experience modeling in Italy where she met or worked with a designer named Gianni who liked to be called Johnny.
  • Dress designer for Michael Jackson
    Michael Jackson
    Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

    's HIStory World Tour
    HIStory World Tour
    The HIStory World Tour was the third and final worldwide solo concert tour by American megasuperstar Michael Jackson, covering Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and North America. The tour included a total of 82 concerts and was attended by approximately 4.5 million fans, beating his previous Bad Tour...

     (1996–1997).
  • Elements of Versace's story figure in Robert Miller's thriller Silent Partners.

External links