Born in May 1955, (58 years old) Donatella Versace has has kept the Versace name and empire at the fore-front of fashion since the untimely death of her brother Gianni in 1997, never failing to look anything other than immaculate along the way.
- Along with her three siblings, Donatella was brought up in Calabria, Italy, by their father and dressmaker mother.
- In the mid-Seventies, Donatella became the “muse and critic” of her brother Gianni, who had established his eponymous Versace label. He later gave Donatella her own label – Versus.
- In the Eighties she had two children – Allegra, born in 1986, and Daniel, born in 1989.
- When her brother Gianni was murdered in July 1997, Donatella took the reins of the Versace empire, keeping it a major player in the fashion industry.
- It was Donatella’s daughter Allegra – then aged 11 – who inherited the lion’s share of Gianni’s fortune – a 50 per cent stake in the Versace brand.
- In February 2001, Donatella launched her own fragrance, Versace Woman.
- Under her watch, Versace moved beyond clothing to include accessories, home furnishings, and hotels, morphing Versace into a complete lifestyle brand.
- In 2008, she was made the honorary chairman for London’s Fashion Fringe, judging upcoming designer talent.
- In 2009, Donatella asked Christopher Kane to revive Versus. The pair successfully revitalised the brand, making it a major player again on the Fashion Week schedule.
- After Kane’s departure in November 2012, appointed up-and-coming Irish designer JW Anderson to create a capsule collection for the Versus label. “Jonathan is a perfect fit for this inaugural capsule collection,” Versace told us. “In addition to being a talented designer, he’s well versed with the new digital world and is, therefore, an ideal partner for our new direction.”
Her fashion sense matches the class and lifestyle of the Versace brand. She has a very signature style and always looks great.
“You can’t pretend that everybody likes Versace. It would be boring. It’s better to create a reaction than to create no reaction. That’s dangerous.”