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Donatella Versace is a goddess of fashion. The female figurehead of one of the few remaining family-run fashion houses, Donatella’s flamboyant, party-girl image has become synonymous with Versace itself. Donatella and her brother Gianni grew up in Reggio Calabria, southern Italy. When Gianni moved to Milan to seek his fashion fortune, Donatella was studying for a degree in languages at the University of Florence. Gianni’s career took off and he called on his younger sister to help develop the brand. The two worked together for much of the 80s and 90s, with Donatella concentrating on the sumptuous advertising images for which Versace is known to this day. When Gianni was tragically killed in 1996, his sister became chief designer and inherited a some­what daunting legacy. She met the challenge. Versace was brought into the 21st century by fusing Gianni’s very Italian glamour with Donatella’s own rock ‘n’ roll instincts. Versace is continually in the public eye, not least because of its – and Donatella’s – famous friends. Angel Haze, Courtney Love and Elizabeth Hurley are all devoted Versace fans. Donatella continues to hold the position of creative director and vice-president of the board and has the respect of the industry. She also has two children, Allegra and Daniel Beck.

versace.com

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