For his incredible originality and fearless the late Gianni Versace is my number 4 innovator designer. Born December 2, 1946 in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. In 1972, Versace moved to Milan, where he began freelance designing for the Italian labels Genny, Callaghan and Complice before launching his own ready-to-wear collection for women in 1978. Until Versace, fashion was an art only targeted to a more discrete clientele. With everyone accustomed to Armani’s tailored distinct suits, Valentino’s sumptuous and glamorous nightgowns, no one would ever conceive dresses and gowns made of innovative materials such as aluminum mesh or techniques such as laser technology to fuse leather and rubber. Weather we would have worn his first creations or not, his style has become a trademark. His collections were invaded with marked colors, materials, and cuts, with such a sexual approach to the point of vulgarity. For many his design was a discussion about good or bad taste. His versatility and imagination was always in pursuit of new and unexpected ideas making his signature a synopsis of the 80’s and 90’s. His clothes have been worn by icons such as the late Princess Diana, Elton John, and many others.
Images above of the front and back of a hand embroidered and beaded top from Versace's Autumn/Winter 1991-92 collection. Below, facade of the Designer's house in lake Como. Two pictures further below are re-creations of some of the rooms in the house by Sotheby's for auction.

The black Versace safety pin dress worn by Elizabeth Hurley at the 1994 premiere of the film Four Weddings and a Funeral has been considered the best red carpet gown of all time. Below his "Casa Casuarina" in South Beach. Constructed in 1930 and modeled after a residence built by Christopher Columbus' son in 1510 in Santo Domingo.


An intrepid designer, Versace brought energy and art to an industry considered disconnected with the mainstream. In less than 10 years, he built an empire worth $807 million.
 
Top