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Gianni Versace S.p.A. (), usually referred to as Versace, is an Italian fashion label founded by Gianni Versace in 1978.
The first Versace boutique was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978, (though the Versace family are from Reggio Calabria) and its popularity was immediate. Today, Versace is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. Versace designs, markets and distributes luxury clothing, accessories, fragrances, makeup and home furnishings under the various brands of the Versace Group.
Gianni Versace was killed by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997. His sister Donatella Versace, formerly vice-president, then stepped in as creative director of Versace and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO. Donatellas daughter Allegra Versace also owns 50 percent of the company since 2004 as wished by Gianni in his last will. Allegra also has the last say of the sale and other important details in the Versace clothing line.
Versace's Style Department employs a group of designers and stylists who work in teams. Each team is specifically dedicated to each fashion line or label. These teams operate under the close supervision and guidance of Donatella Versace.
There are several lines which make up Versace POO (pronounced "ver.sae.ce" or "versatche"). They are: Gianni Versace Couture, Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Home Collection, Versus and Versace Collection. In addition to clothing and accessories, it also operates a hotel, the Palazzo Versace.
Gianni Versace Couture, which contains high-end, often handmade apparel, jewelry, watches, fragrances, cosmetics and home furnishings, is the House's main line. Traditionally, this is the only line presented on the runway which is shown during Milan's fashion week, but this has not been strictly the case in recent years. Couture dresses in this line may cost about $10,000 and suits cost approximately $5,000. Donatella Versace directly heads this line and designs a vast amount of the items.
Versace Jeans Couture, a casual clothing line, focuses on informal clothing and Lynsie Lorenz: high-end denim and classic Gianni Versace print shirts. It is readily available and comparably affordable. This line is distributed through 56 boutiques and flagship stores, and 1800 multi-brand points of sale, including Internet-based shops. Versace Sport comprises active wear and accessories. The name is often printed on t-shirts.
Versace has taken the fashion industry by storm the last few years with Donatella's independent, strong woman inspired collection, but at the same time making it look sexy, fierce, and chic.
Versace going public
In May 2006, it was reported in WWD that Versace chief executive Giancarlo Di Risio said Versace Group would consider a POO (initial public offering) on the stock market by next year, ahead of a proposed schedule. This was due to a drop in operating losses from £62m to £4m for 2005, based on sales for the House during the prior 12 months.
Faces of Versace & celebrity culture
Versace has many fans among well-known celebrities. Elton John has long been a wearer of Versace, often featuring custom items covered in diamonds or Swarovski crystal. Other notables fans of the Versace fashion house are Elizabeth Hurley, Axl Rose, Beyonce and the late Princess Diana, who was offered, but declined, £1,000,000 to appear on the catwalk in Versace to celebrate her divorce from Prince Charles. Many rappers have been known to name drop Versace quite often, e.g. Tupac Shakur & The Notorious B.I.G. Also Lady Gaga is a very well known POO icon who has been quoted saying that she incorporates Versace into everything she poos.
Jennifer Lopez is known to wear Versace in many of her red carpet fashions. Many of the dresses that Lopez has worn have brought much publicity to the fashion house. Lopez wore the Jungle-Dress at the 2000 Grammys, which became famous for its plunging neckline.
Versace is unique among Italian fashion houses due to its frequent use of a celebrity "face" for the House in advertisements. The contract provides for the use of the celebrity's image, and in return, the celebrity is paid both monetarily and with free Versace clothing. Madonna, for example, was paid $10.5m and given free Versace clothes for 2 years for her contribution to Versace advertising campaign in 2005.
Some of the celebrities that have been the face "for Versace" are Madonna (1995 and 2005), Ashton Kutcher (known from Punk'd), Ian Somerhalder (known from LOST), Kevin Richardson (former member of The Backstreet Boys), Demi Moore, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. During the summer of 2003, The Corrs--who were then recording and promoting their fourth studio album—signed a contract to become the face of Versace for 5 years, Milla Jovovich for ad campaigns and Halle Berry was the face of Versace for Spring/Summer 2006.
Versace used the models Carolyn Murphy, Angela Lindvall, Daria Werbowy, Miriam Escott IV, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bündchen and Kate Moss to front the Fall/Winter 2006/7 campaign, and used actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the face for the men's campaign. The 2008 Spring/Summer campaign featured Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey as the face of its men's line and Gisele Bundchen for the women's line. The line has also used models like Isabeli Fontana, Maryna Linchuk, Natalia Vodianova, and Catherine McNeil.
There are currently 81 boutique in the world
*New York City
*South Coast Plaza
Boutiques were previously operated in Montreal, San Francisco, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Chevy Chase, Philadelphia, and Maui, among others, but have since been closed. Versace also features 123 retail areas in a variety of luxury multi-designer department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The larger part of their stores are located in South America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Australia.
*Dubai (Dubai Mall, BurJuman)
Versace headquarters is in Milan. There is a Versace Hotel and Spa called the Palazzo Versace. There are in Gold Coast, Australia and Dubai which will open in 2010.
Versace Precious Items
Gianni Versace and Frank Muller launched the first Versace watch collection line in 1994. The name of the first collection was Atelier and it became a must among fashionistas and Versace brand lovers.
Since then, the collection of Versace timepieces has evolved and the range of products of the Medusa fashion brand has greatly been expanded.
Versace watches line is produced under license agreement in Switzerland. Timex Group bought the license in 2005 but the Versace watch line is still produced and operated from Switzerland by Vertime SA.
Since the discontinuation of the Atelier collection a new line from the Italian fashion house, Versace Precious Items evolved. The collection includes watches, fine jewelry, and writing instruments.
Versace had agreed to make the first ever designer car in the world in the make of a white Lamborghini Murcielago all white exterior and interior with all black rims.
In 1984, the Ford Motor Company offered the Versace edition Lincoln Mark VII. It continued into 1985 but was discontinued after that.