Thursday, December 02, 2010

In Memoriam: Gianni Versace

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSuccess came as naturally to Gianni Versace (born on this day in 1946) as if it were his birthright; a smashing success from the time of his first collection in the mid-Seventies, soon his designs were redefining chic along Eurotrash lines. Witty as well as sexy, by the late 1990s the Versace brand was known worldwide for being the quintessence of Italian style.

Then, in July 1997, tragedy struck; spree killer Andrew Cunanan gunned down the 50-year-old designer on the front steps of his Ocean Drive palazzo in Miami's South Beach - then the hottest locale in the country. Versace's longtime partner Antonio D'Amico got 50 million lire ($26,000) a month, Cunanan got a self-inflicted bullet in the head on a nearby houseboat a week later, and the House of Versace got a new designer, Gianni's younger sister Donatella.

After a few bumpy seasons, Donatella's stewardship of her late brother's empire seems secure, and with his brother Santo guiding things behind the scenes, the empire begun by Gianni Versace looks to be in no danger of collapse.
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