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, makeup and home furnishings under the various brands of the Versace Group. In 1994, the brand became a household name after the widespread coverage of the Black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley.
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. Donatella's 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: Atelier Versace, Versace Couture, Versace Sports, Versace Couture, Versace Home Collection, Versace Collection and Versus. In addition to clothing and accessories, it also operates a hotel, the Palazzo Versace.
Versace Couture, which contains high-end, often handmade apparel, jewelry, watches, fragrances, cosmetics, handbags, 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. The other Versace label named Versace Collection, and again overseen by Donatella Versace, is the second high-end line of the group and is designed toward younger more fashioned people, the logo is discreet and consist in a hollowed V surrounded by the classic Greek frieze or is signed in all word with the word "collection" written smaller in black at the bottom line of the name Versace in hollowed letters or in white. The Versace Sport line was stopped in 2008 due to large counterfacting of this line, damaging the Versace group image.
Versace Jeans Couture, a casual clothing line, focuses on informal clothing and high-end denim and classic Versace print shirts. It is readily available and comparably affordable, but has been discontinued from the United States for the most part. This line is distributed through 56 boutiques and flagship stores, and 1800 multi-brand points of sale, including Internet-based shops. Versace Sport encompassed active wear and accessories. The name was often printed on t-shirts.