About Gianni Versace

Giovanni Maria Versace, also known as Gianni Versace, was a fashion designer based in Italy. He was also the founder of Gianni Versace S.r.l. He was also famous for linking the fashion industry to the music industry. Versace brought art and liveliness into the world of fashion. Versace was shot dead outside his mansion at the age of 50.

Quick Infos
Full NameGiovanni Maria Versace
Date of Birth2 December 1946
Birth placeReggio Calabria, Italy
occupationFashion Designer
Partner(s)Antonio D'Amico
Death Date15 July 1997

Early Life

Gianni Versace was born to Antonio and Francesca Versace in Reggio Calabria on the 2nd of December in 1946. He is the middle child of the family and has an elder brother and a younger sister. He also had another elder sister, but she died because of tetanus.

He started his training at his mother’s business at a very young age. Andy Warhol and Greek history influenced him. He was quite interested in architecture but later moved to Milan to pursue a career in the fashion business.

Versace studied Latin and Ancient Greek at Liceo Classico Tommaso Campanella but left without completing his studies.

Gianni Versace


Gianni Versace started his career from “Byblos” as a designer in 1973 and designed Complice for the company 1977. His first collection, which he designed for women, was featured at Palazzo Della Permanente Art museum in Milan, after which he organized his fashion show a few months later. He opened his boutique in 1978 in Milan.

He quickly turned into a sensation at the International fashion business after he opened his boutique. He made more refreshing designs with rich colors and bold/sexy cuts rather than the simple and muted designs found in the market. He gained praise for his move but also received a vast amount of criticisms for his designs. During that time, he had a rivalry with Giorgio Armani, and people compared their designs, citing Armani made dresses for wives while Versace made them for mistresses.

He built his company with his sister, Donatella, as Vice President and his brother, Santo, as the President in the year 1978. Donatella’s husband was later employed as the director for the men’s wear.

He was the innovator of “Oroton”, lightweight chainmail, and it is the signature material of his design. He infused his proud southern Italian heritage in his designs along with Grace-Roman artwork. Versace expanded his company business into home furnishings, textiles, jewelry, and china industry by 1982 and entered into the haute couture, a fashion design that is hand made using luxury and expensive items, by 1989 under the name Atelier Versace. He was well-known for featuring celebrities and supermodels as part of his fashion ad-campaigns.

Versace loved theatre and designed costumes for several theatres and ballet productions house in Italy. His designs were also featured in the San Francisco Opera and in the music video of “Say Say Say” by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. He was also the designer of Elton John’s costumes for his world tour in the year 1992.

Versace was also featured as an actor in films, documentaries, and television shows. He was featured in the 1997 musical-comedy “Spice World,” but his scenes were deleted as his death was announced before the film premiered. He was also part of the 1996 documentary “Catwalk,” which was filmed in 1993. He then appeared in the 1995 film “VH1 Fashion and Music Awards” and the 1994 television show “Look”.

He had also designed costumes and wardrobe for numerous films, ballet, and television shows, including “A Life Less Swaggy” in 1997, “Judge Dredd” in 1995, “Showgirls” in 1995, “Hard to Kill” in 1990, “Miami Vice” in 1989 and “Crystal or Ash, Fire or Wind, as Long as It’s Love” in 1989. He was also the production designer of the 1992 documentary film “Elton John Live in Barcelona”.

Gianni Versace

Awards and Recognition

Gianni Versace was awarded the America Award in his memory in 2017 by Itay-USA Foundation and was awarded American Fashion Oscar in 1993. He had received “Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana” from the Italian President Francesco Cossiga in 1986.

A Russian Versace Fan Club was founded in 2009, which dedicated lectures and its programs to Gianni Versace. Elton John had devoted his album “The Big Picture” to him in 1997. Ballet was also performed in La Scala in the memory of his 10th death anniversary in 2007.

Personal Life

Gianni Versace was in a relationship with the model, Antonio D’Amico, from 1982 until his death. He was also diagnosed with Ear cancer. Versace adored his nephews and nieces; Francesca, Antonio, Allegra, and Daniel.

He was also friends with Tupac Shakur, Eric Clapton, Princess Diana, and many other celebrities.

Gianni Versace


Gianni Versace was shot dead on the 15th of July in 1997 outside his Miami Beach mansion when returning from his morning walk. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital but was pronounced dead at 9:21 a.m. The shooter was later identified as Andrew Cunanan, who later committed suicide eight days after murdering Versace.

Versace’s funeral was held at Milan Cathedral, which was attended by more than 2000 people. He was cremated at Moltrasio Cemetery.

Net Worth

Before his death, his empire was estimated to be about $807 million. He had left fifty percent of his wealth to Allegra Versace, his niece in his will, which she inherited in 2004 after turning 18. The value of the stake was over $500 million.