On July 15, 1997, the fashion world was rocked by the news of the murder of Gianni Versace, the legendary designer and founder of the Versace fashion house. The Italian fashion icon was shot dead outside his Miami mansion by Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer who had been on the run for weeks. The murder sent shockwaves throughout the fashion industry and left many wondering what would happen to the Versace brand without its visionary founder.
The Rise of Gianni Versace
Gianni Versace was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy in 1946. He grew up in a family of dressmakers and learned about fashion from an early age.
After studying architecture, he moved to Milan to work as a designer for various fashion houses. In 1978, he launched his own label, which quickly became known for its bold designs and use of vibrant colors.
Versace’s designs were worn by some of the biggest names in entertainment and politics. He dressed everyone from Princess Diana to Elton John and Madonna. His designs were also featured in movies like “Showgirls” and “The Devil Wears Prada.”
The Death of Gianni Versace
On July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace was returning from his morning walk when he was shot twice in the head on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion. He died instantly. The killer was later identified as Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer who had already killed four other people before Targeting Versace.
The murder shocked the world and left many wondering what would happen to the Versace empire without its visionary leader.
The Future of Versace
In the wake of Gianni’s death, his sister Donatella took over as creative director of the company. She had worked closely with her brother for years and was already heavily involved in designing collections. Under her leadership, the Versace brand continued to thrive and expand.
Donatella’s designs were more daring and edgy than her brother’s, but still retained the bold aesthetic that made Versace famous. She also expanded the brand into new areas, including home decor, accessories, and fragrances.
In 2018, the Versace brand was sold to Michael Kors Holdings Limited for $2.12 billion. Donatella and her brother Santo retained their positions as creative directors of the company.
The murder of Gianni Versace was a tragedy that shook the fashion world to its core. But thanks to the leadership of his sister Donatella and the hard work of the Versace team, the brand has continued to thrive. Today, it remains one of the most iconic fashion houses in the world, known for its bold designs and glamorous aesthetic.