The Face Behind Versace: Who is Donatella Versace?

Thumbnail: Vogue

Fashion designer Donatella Versace recently invited the Vogue team to her Milan apartment and answered 73 questions. She talked about everything from her favorite flower to wishes of having lunch with former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Many people know the Italian fashion company Versace, but the faces behind the brand are often forgotten about. The company was started by Gianni Versace, and it quickly became an international powerhouse in the fashion industry. Gianni and his sister, Donatella, collaborated to build brand recognition, especially in the music and film industries. Versace was the first brand of its kind to work so heavily with famous artists and actors.

Donatella served as the brand’s vice president and her brother’s muse. In 1989, Gianni gifted his sister with a brand inspired by her own personal style: Versus. This brand has been thriving ever since and will be a main contender on the world stage once again during Fashion Week 2018.


When Gianni was assassinated outside of his Miami mansion in 1997, his sister officially took over the brand to continue his legacy. Twenty years later, Donatella designed a collection to honor her late brother.

“It was too painful to think about it [her brother’s death] before,” Versace said. “Twenty years went by and I was ready.” She runs the company with the same integrity and boldness as her brother did.

In addition to paying tribute to her brother, Donatella is quite the humanitarian. She considers herself a feminist and thinks it is important for women to stand up for themselves.

“Be aware of what is happening in the world, and do something about it,” Versace said when asked what it means to be a woman.

She has been very proactive in the women’s rights movement and encourages others to do the same. During last year’s Fashion Week, she defended feminism and sent a message to her critics with her clothing collection.

Photo: New York Times

“This is a collection about the power of women, and women who know how to use their power,” Versace said to CTV News. “It is a call for unity, and the strength that comes from that positivity and hope.”

Versace also told Vogue that all the brand’s products will become 100 percent sustainable, meaning they will be safer for the environment. The transition will begin in spring 2018.

Donatella’s name can be seen on the runway during New York Fashion Week and all over Times Square, but it is important to know what she stands for and in turn, what the Versace brand represents.

Photo: Tom and Lorenzo