Donatella Versace is the Chief Artistic Director of Versace, one of the world’s leading luxury fashion brands.
She embodies the strength, fearlessness and power of the individual that is the true DNA of the brand, as well as pioneering the innovation that pushes Versace into the future.
Donatella Versace was born in Reggio Calabria in southern Italy, the younger sister to Gianni and Santo. Throughout her childhood, she was her brother Gianni’s best friend and co-conspirator, who found Versace in 1978, and it was while Donatella was studying for a degree in languages at the University of Florence that she first assisted her brother. She never looked back.
More than just a muse, Donatella was beside Gianni’s side throughout for every collection, every decision. She supervised the legendary campaigns by photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, and in 1994 she became head designer of Versus, the rebellious heart of Versace.
In 1997, Donatella became artistic director of Versace following the death of her brother. Since then, she has defined Versace for a new century, and a new generation.
She connects the ultimate in luxury with the mood of the street. Always hungry for what’s new, she mixes her deep understanding of pop culture with her intuition about how people want to dress right now, and in the future.
Versace today spreads far beyond the catwalk — it’s a lifestyle. Alongside the iconic Versace Home, Donatella Versace also oversees fine jewelry, timepieces, fragrances and the Versace interior design facility as well as the palazzo Versace hotels.
Donatella has been celebrated for her interest in the next generation of talent, whether it’s the bands whom perform at Versus Versace events, or the young designers with whom she collaborated, such as Christopher Kane, JW Anderson and Anthony Vaccarello. As further sign of her interest in the next generation of talent, in September 2017, Donatella Versace announced the new Gianni Versace scholarship to support a student of the MA Fashion Course at Central Saint Martins, at UAL (starting from autumn 2017) and at IUAV in Venice.
In December 2017, Donatella Versace was awarded with the “Fashion Icon” award during the Fashion Awards, as recognition for her work as Artistic Director of the fashion house, celebrating the creativity and the innovation she has brought to the fashion world.
Furthermore, in June 2018, she won the International award at the CFDA, the highest honor in fashion, recognizing her outstanding contributions made to the fashion world. In September of the same year, she was honored as ‘Designer of the Year’ both by British GQ and by GQ China. Two months later, in November 2018, she was awarded the ‘Fashion Icon Award’ at the GQ Awards in Berlin.
It is her deep respect for the traditions and heritage of her family brand, combined with her passion for the future that is a constant theme of her work. For that forward-looking spirit, she has received the CNMI Award in recognition of sustainability at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards on September 23rd, 2018.
Today Donatella Versace holds the dual position of Artistic Director and Vice President of the board of Gianni Versace S.r.l. Donatella is responsible for the overall vision of the house, from its runway collections and image, to its global growth and future in the digital world.