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  • Writer's pictureNoam Gurevich

Fashion Fact Friday - Donatella & Gianni Versace

The fashion industry is filled with generations of stylish people and influenced by their family traditions. Fascinating family histories are embroidered into clothes and accessories. From Fendi and Missoni to the Olsen twins (The Row) and Dean & Dan (Dsquared2), the stories behind some major fashion houses suggest that the secret to a successful brand, is good genes. Each of these brands can be the subject for a doctorate, but one of my personal favorites is the story of the Versace Siblings, Gianni and Donatella.

Gianni Versace founded the Italian fashion house, bearing his family name, in the late 70's and quickly became a house-hold name synonymous with luxury and Italian lifestyle. Supermodels, Hollywood actresses and even political figures fell in love with the designer and his art. He created iconic collections and prints, that, to this day, many try to copy. More than anything, Gianni created a dream.

The relationship between Gianni and his sister, Donatella was tight. Besides the fact that they worked together every single day, they were each other's inspiration. They took care of one another, professionally and personally and were the perfect example of a family owned business done right. In 1992 they collaborated and created a dress together for the first time – the iconic belt dress. Gianni, being a supportive brother, suggested that Donatella will wear the dress herself to the Famous Met Gala, that look became a part of fashion history.

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The Italian designer was murdered in 1997 by a serial killer, and his loss shocked the world. Princess Diana, Elton John, Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld are just a drop in the ocean of leading figures that paid their final respect to Versace, and among them was his loving sister, Donatella. After a period of recovery, it was her time to take over the fashion house.

Her path in the Versace brand started in the PR department, but throughout the years her brother nurtured her and gave her tools preparing her for the day she will be in charge. When that time arrived, she delivered. For two decades Donatella has managed to preserve the prestigious status that Gianni built and made the Versace name even more desirable. The most amazing thing is that alongside her incredible personal success, she never forgot her brother's support.

Donatella is commemorating her and Gianni's special relationship in Versace's collections. Throughout the years she created several tributes through memorable pieces and the peak was in 2017, when she debuted a full collection inspired by her brother's most iconic pieces in honor of the 20th anniversary of his death. From the barocco print to the Marilyn Monroe overall, if it was touched by Gianni, it got a modern renewal by Donatella. The hottest names in the fashion industry walked on the runway to the soundtrack of Donatella's voice talking about Gianni's life, work and impact on the world. Chills.

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This beautiful story about a brother and a sister has everything – drama, style and a whole lot of love. If there is anything we can learn from it, it’s that we should keep our friends close, our enemies closer and our family attached to our hip.

Stay classy,


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