Gianni Versace was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy in 1946. When he was a youngster, Versace’s mother supported the family as the proprietor of a small sewing shop. Versace learned everything about making clothes there and soon he designed apparel himself, which his mother was delighted to sell in her shop. Versace later acquired additional and valuable skills as a fabric buyer, working in various companies as a buyer.

His first job as a designer was obtained in 1972 working for a Lucca, Italy based company known as Fiori Fioretini. Versace designed an entire collection for them that was very well received. Versace also designed for the Italian fashion labels De Parisi, Genny (for whom he would later be working again), Callaghan, Alma, and then for Complice in 1974. The work for Complice represented the first time the Versace name was included in the brand name of the items he designed.

He launched his Gianni Versace label in 1978, but rose to prominence in the eighties with his flashy designs for both men and women. Boutiques soon started to spread around the world due to the growing popularity of his work. Versace was considered along with Giorgio Armani one of the world's leading ready-to-wear-fashion designers.

Such celebrities as Princess Diana, Demi Moore, Elton John, Prince, Madonna, Kim Basinger, Leonardo DiCaprio and Elizabeth Hurley (whose career was made in a safety pin Versace gown in 1994) wore Versace designs.

The Versace style has become known worldwide due to its distinctive and bold flair. One way to describe Versace is to compare it to the style of Giorgio Armani. Versace tends to produce at the opposite end of the design spectrum from Armani. Versace is known for striking colors, materials, and cuts. His work reflects the typical Italian "grandezza" and draws from those images (like the neo-classicistic ornaments in his prints), pushing them to the limits. One famous West Coast boutique owner remarks that Versace items have always been very popular in his store. According to this boutique owner, people buy his designs because they want something different; they want to stand out. Buying a Versace is similar to buying a piece of art. Versace also licensed his designs for use in products besides clothing, many of which became very popular and some are now considered to have attained collector status. To view a wonderful example of the bold and expressive Versace design style, click here .

Author Unknown "Designer Gianni Versace"
Mr. Showbiz. 1997.
(15 Jul. 1997).

Krebs, Jost "Gianni Versace"
University Of Munich. 1996.
<> (Oct. 1997).