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Gianni Versace was born on December 2, 1946 in Reggio Calabria, Italy. His mother, Francesca, owned a tailor shop, where as a young boy, Versace learned the art of fashion designing and clothes making.

As he grew older, Versace began designing clothes himself, and as a freelance fashion designer, he made clothes for some of the top fashion houses in Italy, such as Fiori Fiorintini, De Parisi, Genny, Complice and Callaghen.

While working for Complice, he got the opportunity to have his name branded on his own fashion creations.

With the help of his brother Santo, in 1978 Versace opened his first boutiqe in Milan's Via della Spiga and later that year, introduced his first collection for women. With a bold and creative style, the Versace brand started selling all over Italy and soon.

Over the next ten years, the Versace brand grew to immense popularity all around the world. In 1988, Vesace was named "the most innovative and creative designer in the world. In 1993, the Council of Fashion Designers of America awarded the American Fashion Oscar to Versace, and later on that year, he was honored by both the Italian and French presidents.

In 1994, Gianni opened the first Versace flagship boutique in KurfYrstendamn, Berlin. In September, the "Versace Signature" opened at the Kunstgewerbemuseum. In 1995, the first Versus fashion show, a label designed for the young fashion artist, was held in New York.

In 1997, Gianni was shot to death in front of his mansion in Miami Beach, Florida sending shock waves through the fashion industry.

His brother, Santo, was named the new CEO of the Versace company and his sister, Donatella, who was already the head design artist for the Versus label, was named head of the design department.

The Versace label offer varying designs of Versace fashion wear.

  • Gianni Versace Couture is the company's main line, ranging from high-end apparel, to jewelry, watches, fragrances, cosmetics and home furnishings. Dresses in this line can cost up to $10,000 each and a man's suit as much as $5,000 or more.
  • The Versace Collection and Versace Jeans Couture are lines that focuses on seasonal trends. The Versace Collection is aimed at younger consumers and it is also more available to more people.
  • Versace Jeans Couture is a casual informal clothing line, such as high-end denim, and classic Gianni print shirts. This line is in 56 boutiques and flagship stores.
  • Versace Sport features active wear and accessories, and the name is often printed on the shirts.

Versace has many boutiques around the world and is found in stores like Saks Fifth Ave., Neiman Marcus, and other high end clothing shops.

As a brand name, Versace is one of the most well known and repected fashion houses in the world and, even with the death of Gianni, it still remains one of the enduring names in the fashion industry.

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