Gianni Versace was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Gianni Versace, an international fashion house, which produces accessories,fragrances, makeup and home furnishings as well as clothes. Gianni built an $800-million fashion empire in just 10 years.
He was introduced to the world of fashion as a child through his mother who was a dress maker, and began his apprenticeship helping his mother find precious stones and gold braid with which to embroider dresses. He moved to Milan at the age of 26 to work in fashion design.
In the mid-1970s, his knits drew the attention of headhunters at Genny and Callaghan. Complice hired him to design their leather and suede collections, and a few years later, encouraged by his success, Versace presented his first signature collection for women at the Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan.
Known for his glamorous styles, Versace produced a range of siren dresses that became his trademark, often using innovative materials such as aluminum mesh or cutting-edge techniques like “neo-couture” laser technology to fuse leather and rubber.
Versace’s illustrious career was decorated with numerous awards, including four L’Occhio d’Oros and an American Fashion Oscar in 1993. Versace was credited with turning the fashion world into the high-powered, celebrity-besotted industry it remains to the present day.