Donatella Versace is an Italian fashion designer who has a net worth of $400 million. She is the daughter of Gianni Versace. The designer Gianni Versace‘s younger sister, Donatella, assumed control of the family business, Versace, after his untimely death in 1997. Donatella is the youngest of three children. A former CEO, chief creative officer, and artistic director of Versace, she played a key role in its sale to Michael Kors for $2.12 billion in 2018. She also served as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Versace designed the Palazzo Versace Australia resort and was also involved in the creation of the Palazzo Versace Dubai resort. In 2005, she created a MINI Cooper Cabrio for the Life Ball charity event, which raised money for the American Cancer Society.
After Gianni was assassinated in 1997 by a crazed admirer, Donatella’s daughter Allegra received a 50 percent share in the Versace fashion empire, which she has since expanded. Donatella received a 20 percent stake in the company, while her uncle Santo (Gianni’s brother) received a 30 percent stake in the company. Donatella and Santo assumed responsibility of Allegra’s life because she was just eleven years old at the time of her uncle’s sad murder.
Donatella Versace Early Life
Donatella Francesca Versace was born on May 2, 1955, in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, and became known as Donatella Versace. Mother Francesca (a dressmaker) and father Antonio (a salesman) raised her and her three elder siblings, Gianni, Santo, and Tina; Tina tragically died at the age of 12 from a tetanus infection, and Gianni was left to raise her alone. When Donatella and Gianni were children, Francesca educated them about fashion design, and Versace began dyeing her hair blonde when she was 11 years old at Gianni’s urging. Donatella began studying at the University of Florence in 1973, where she majored in foreign languages with the goal of becoming a secondary school teacher. While attending university, she travelled to Milan on a regular basis to assist Gianni with his clothes business.
Donatella Versace Career
The young Donatella Versace had originally planned to work in the public relations department of Gianni Versace’s company, but Versace saw her as an important critic and muse, and when he launched Versace in 1978, he appointed her as Vice President of the company. During the 1980s, Donatella was heavily involved in the coordination of Versace’s fashion shows and advertising campaigns, and Gianni bestowed upon her a fashion label, Versus, and produced a perfume in her honour, Blonde, in her honour. Donatella got more active in the business when Gianni was diagnosed with cancer in the mid-1990s, and after Gianni’s death in 1997, Donatella was promoted to the position of head of design at Versace. There have been several celebrities that have appeared in Donatella Versace’s advertising campaigns, including Madonna, Demi Moore, Courtney Love, and Nicki Minaj, among others. Over the course of a special exhibit named “Versace at the V&A,” which ran from October 2002 to January 2003, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London showcased some of Gianni and Donatella’s most well-known creations.
The low-cut silk chiffon dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards is Donatella’s most well-known design; within 24 hours of the event, photographs of the dress had been downloaded more than 640,000 times on the Grammy website. Later that year, Trey Parker, the creator of the animated series “South Park,” wore a replica of the iconic gown at the Academy Awards. Lady Gaga dedicated a song to Donatella, “Donatella,” which appears on her 2013 album “Artpop,” to her. Donatella has been portrayed in popular culture by Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live”), Gina Gershon (“House of Versace”), and Penelope Cruz (“American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” among others). Donatella Versace published her autobiography, “Versace,” in 2016, which details her life and career as well as the history of the brand.
Donatella Versace Acquisition
Versace sold a 20 percent ownership in the company to the private equity firm Blackstone in 2014 for $1 billion. Versace was valued at approximately $1.4 billion as a result of the investment. As a result, Allegra’s 50 percent interest was valued at approximately $700 million, while Donatella’s stake was valued at approximately $280 million. In a press release issued on September 25, 2018, Michael Kors Holdings stated that it had reached an agreement to acquire Versace for a total of $2.2 billion.
Donatella Versace Personal Life
Before divorcing in 2000, Donatella had married American model Paul Beck in 1983, and the couple had two children together: Allegra Versace in 1986 and Daniel Versace in 1989 before being divorced in 2000.
Versace married Manuel Dallori in 2004, and the couple divorced the following year, according to court records. The murder of Gianni by Andrew Cunanan in July 1997, which Donatella was deeply affected by, left her in a state of shock. Following the death of her beloved brother, she suffered with drug addiction and sought treatment in a rehabilitation facility in 2004.
Donatella Versace Awards and Honours
Versace was named “Glamour” magazine’s Fashion Designer of the Year in 2012 and 2016, as well as “Glamour” magazine’s Woman of the Year in 2010. She was awarded the FGI Superstar Award in 2008, and the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Icon of the Year Award in 2017. She has also garnered numerous more awards.
As a result of her accomplishments in 2018, Donatella became the first woman to win the Designer of the Year title at the “GQ” Men of the Year Awards in both the United Kingdom and China, and she was also honoured with the Fashion Icon award at the “GQ” Awards held in Berlin. The Council of Fashion Designers of America also recognised her with the International Award in 2018, and the Green Carpet Fashion Awards presented her with the CNMI in Recognition for Sustainability Award, which she accepted.
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