Today the world celebrates the birthday of renowned Italian fashion designer, Donatella Versace! She’s recognized by her bold attitude, her unique appearance and her impressive success as Versace’s creative director. Donatella Versace has also been one of the most influential women in fashion, which is why today we take a look at 7 facts you might not know about one of the most important fashion icons of the world.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #7: She developed her style when she was 11
According to several interviews, Donatella was incited by her older brother, Gianni Versace, to change her look when she was only 11. The result: Donatella went platinum blond and began wearing heavy black eyeliner, and she was even suspended after wearing it to school. This distinct look became a vital part of her image which has remained unchanged until today.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #6: She gives back
Donatella Versace is perhaps one of the most prosperous fashion designers of the world, and she’s been known for using her success to give back to those in need. Donatella is one of the main patrons of her friend Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, and she’s also helped the ONE Foundation, which aids victims of natural disasters. In 2010, she received the Do Something With Style Award nomination at VH1’s Do Something Awards for her work with the latter.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #5: She’s an important part of pop culture
The Italian designer is considered one of the most well-known fashion icons of modern times, and she’s been mentioned in multiple songs, movies and other media. She’s been regularly spoofed in the TV show Saturday Night Live, she’s inspired songs such as Migos’ Versace and Lady Gaga’s Donatella, and she’s been played by Dania Deville in the film The Versace Murder, as well as Gina Gershon in Lifetime’s House of Versace.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #4: She reformed Versace
After her beloved brother, Gianni Versace, was tragically murdered, Donatella was named Creative Director of the Versace brand. She soon began working on expanding and improving it, by branching into other fields, such as perfume, home goods and furniture. She also revitalized the haute couture line, Atelier Versace, successfully turning it into a modern and sensual label.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #3: She has her own brand
During the 80’s, Gianni Versace incorporated Donatella into the label, making her a vital part of the business as his confidant and critic. Noticing his talent, Gianni presented Donatella with her own brand called Versus in 1989. The clothing line closed temporarily from 2005 to 2009, when Donatella resurrected it with the help of designer Christopher Kane. After his departure, designer J.W. Anderson took his place in 2012.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #2: She was the first designer to broadcast her clothes through celebrities
The trend of getting celebrities to wear clothes by major fashion designers began with a sexy, green dress –known as the Jungle Dress- worn by singer Jennifer Lopez during the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000. The dress caught everyone’s attention, successfully solidifying Donatella as one of the main fashion designers of the world. Soon, she began incorporating A-List celebrities in her campaigns, a trend that was soon followed by other major fashion houses. Celebrities such as Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé and, more recently, Lady Gaga, have been part of Versace’s frontline.
Fact you might not know about Donatella Versace #1: She was Gianni Versace’s muse
Donatella Versace was the youngest sister of renowned Italian designer Giovanni –Gianni- Versace, whom encouraged her to follow her love for fashion and become part of the industry. During the 80’s, Gianni turned to Donatella for help and advice. She collaborated actively in the creation of many fashion shows, as well as giving Gianni feedback on his designs. According to interviews, Donatella became Gianni’s main inspiration and partner.
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