Gianni Versace was born on this day in 1946

He was one of the fashion Industries biggest stars

Gianni Versace was born on this day in 1946

Giovanni Maria “Gianni” Versace was born on December 2nd 1946 in Reggio Calabria, Italy, where he grew up with his brother Santo and his sister Donatella. His designs had a distinct influence on Mythological themes as well as glamour and decadence which is still carried on in the house today. When you think of Versace you think of gold, bold colors, bronzed skin and luxury. His clothes were mystical and most importantly they were skilfully made to complement and transform the woman wearing them. They were decadent yet tasteful and partially responsible for the glamour that existed in the 90’s fashion scene. Gianni Versace became the first designer to fully embrace the importance of contemporary culture. Celebrities knew his extravagant creations would make a memorable entrance and they flocked to him. He became the designer of choice for stars like Madonna, Princess Diana, Elton John and Tina Turner. Versace not only dressed celebrities, he created them. Versace singlehandedly created the supermodel, making household names of largely unknown runway models like Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. When Versace moved to Miami’s South Beach in the early 1990’s the fashion world followed him. According to his sister Donatella, Gianni was walking with her along South Beach and he stopped in front of an apartment building at 10 o’clock in the evening telling her “I want this house.” A few days later the fabled Casa Casuarina mansion was his and life in South Beach changed dramatically. Casa Casuarina, named after a Somerset Maugham short-story collection, began to influence the designer’s collections. The house and its contents became the basis for the entire Versace Home collection. For the rest of Gianni Versace’s life, Casa Casuarina became a fashion hub, attracting the best and brightest from the worlds of music, fashion, and film. They were some of the first designers to be recognized as celebrities and they thrived in it. Gianni Versace’s death was one of the most gruesome in pop culture history. He was shot and killed on July 15th, 1997 in front of his home in Miami by Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer who had killed 4 others before Versace and then himself eight days later.

It had been suggested that Cunanan was obsessed with Versace, stalking him for months and learning his behavioral patterns in order to catch and kill him. His funeral was a star-studded show attended by dear friends such as Princess Diana, Naomi Campbell and Elton John, all of who wept bitterly in throughout the service in the Milan Cathedral. Ever since many films and documentaries have been made dedicated to his life and most popularly his murder. Recently, “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” the series based on Versace’s murder premiered on January 17, 2018 on FX. Gianni Versace was a fashion legend whose legacy will live on forever. The work he created is breathtaking, so in the spirit of the tribute that Donatella started, we are going to present our own favorite Gianni Versace photos to remember and celebrate a greatly talented individual.

By Ken Warren, 2017/18

Watch the trailer for the series “American Crime Story Season 2: The Assassination of Gianni Versace”

Videofashion Vault: Look back at Gianni Versace

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