Who Is Donatella Versace? The Powerhouse Behind the Brand

Who Is Donatella Versace? The Powerhouse Behind the Brand

If the first thing you think of when you hear Donatella Versace’s name isn’t long, platinum blonde hair, then you don’t know Donatella. She’s easily one of the most instantly recognizable people in the world of fashion, and her work is super iconic (think Jennifer Lopez’s green dress).

Want to learn about this fashion icon? We’ve got you covered! Read on to learn everything you need to know about her.

She’s One-Half of a Fashion Powerhouse

When you think of high fashion, you think of many well-known fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, and, of course, Versace. Versace was started by Italian designer Gianni Versace in Milan, Italy in 1978. Gianni often cited Donatella as his muse, and he even created the perfume, Blonde, for her.

Gianni led Versace in its first years before bringing Donatella in to lead the Young Versace and Versus lines. Donatella rose to the office of vice president and helped the brand rise to prominence after dressing Elizabeth Hurley in a jaw-dropping black dress for the 1994 premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Donatella Versace Originally Wanted to Teach

Did Donatella always know that she wanted to be a fashion icon? The answer is a resounding, no! In fact, while her brother Gianni was working on building the Versace brand, Donatella was interested in pursuing a career as a teacher.

Donatella attended the University of Florence to study foreign languages with the goal of becoming a teacher. Of course, she wasn’t perfectly dedicated to being a teacher. She often traveled to Milan to help her brother Gianni with his designs while he was still a fledgling designer.

Versace brand

She Took the Driver’s Seat of the Versace Brand

Gianni very much appreciated Donatella’s critical eye and felt that it helped him create better designs. It was that critical eye and her success with Versace’s smaller lines that helped Gianni feel confident in handing over control of the company Donatella when he fell ill with cancer. During this time, Gianni was still the named president of Versace, but it was Donatella who was making sure the company was running smoothly.

Donatella took full control in 1997 after Gianni was assassinated outside of his South Beach, Florida mansion. Since that time, Donatella has taken Versace to new heights while still honoring the legacy of her brother. Donatella sold the company in 2018, but she still remains on board as the chief creative officer.

Want to Learn More about Fashion?

Donatella Versace is one of the most iconic faces in modern fashion. From starting the Versace brand with her brother Gianni to dressing celebrities for Super Bowl performances and to walk the red carpet, she’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Who knows what she has in store for the fashion world, next?!

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