Versace. The brand has transcended decades and is a leader in style season after season since its founding in 1978. Gianni Versace was the creator and head of the iconic brand for decades. He launched in Milan, Gianni Versace Donna was featured in the boutique Via Della Spiga. Inspired by his younger sister Donatella, his muse, Gianni created rich designs that stood out among the rest. This is the thing that has made Versace the fashion powerhouse and icon that it is.
The name Versace is synonymous with bright, vivid colors, sensual silhouettes, sexy styles, a striking design, and an overall sense of decadence. When people hear the word Versace, many things come to mind, especially depending on the generation you come from. Anyone who was around from the inception remembers Versace as it began, always pushing the envelope. Then the younger generation came along, and Versace stayed young and sexy and evolved with the times, but always stayed ahead of the curve.
Their first photographic campaign was done by legendary photographer Richard Avedon, who continued to photograph it for years to come. These photos struck a string on the hearts of the fashion world, and the rest is history. Versace's unique, inspiring designs became so popular, that Gianni began designing clothes for many theatrical productions, in addition to his couture line.
In the 1991/1992 Fall/Winter collection, Versace came up with the concept of the "supermodel" strutting on the catwalk. From then on, svelte, towering women ruled the world of fashion and the way fashion shows were operated. Versace set the trends in more ways than one.
A huge moment for the brand came in 1994 when Elizabeth Hurley wore the infamous safety pin dress to a movie premier for Four Weddings and a Funeral. Secured in all the right places, the dress played along the line of scandalous and seductive, erring on the side of seduction. This also started a trend in which safety pins became a real part of a dress's design. Shortly after this, Versace launched his jewelry line, also a reason the brand has remained an icon.
The iconic green dress that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammys in 2000 is a moment in the brand's history that will stand out forever. A deep, plunging neckline, that in fact was not really a neckline at all, shocked the world and is still one of the most famous red carpet dresses of all time. Jenny from the Block stepped into fashion history as a result of Versace.
In 1997 Gianni Versace was killed in his Miami mansion, and Donatella took over the reigns. She had been his muse for decades and rightly so. The Italian beauty had the same sense of style and flair for theatrics that her late brother had. She also had an incredible business mind, expanding Versace and partnering with many other businesses.
Throughout all this time, the brand Versace remained at the forefront of the fashion world, commanding the catwalk season after season. Then Donatella, in all of her business brilliance, brought Versace to the masses. With America's economic recession, the fashion business in the country suffered, but rather than hoping to ride out the storm, Donatella took action. In 2011, she partnered with retail powerhouse H&M and did a collection with them. The designs were authentically Versace from the bright colors and patterns, to the playful, sexy silhouettes they offered.
Part of being an icon is the ability to evolve with the times. While Versace has always been an innovator and stuck to the same fundamentals, the brand has still been able to evolve with the new culture of each generation. Whenever a person is wearing Versace, it's evident, and that's why it's a style icon.