In Greek mythology, Medusa stunned onlookers and left them frozen in their tracks. Gianni Versace chose Medusa as his brand’s symbol because he hoped his creations would do the same. As one of the most recognizable luxury fashion brands in the world, it’s safe to say he succeeded.
A Status Symbol
For more than 40 years, Versace has stood as a symbol of Italian luxury, putting out bold designs that look to the future and embrace trends of the past. The house is famous for its fearless prints and color schemes. As such a high profile brand, Versace adheres to a set of detailed ethical codes.
What started as a fashion house, Versace has expanded from offering just fine clothing into offering accessories, fragrance, home decor, and has even made a foray into hospitality.
Keeping It In The Family
Versace was started and made famous by designer Gianni Versace in 1978. Gianni quickly became famous, and propelled his fashion house into international stardom. He often identified his younger sister, Donatella, as his muse; when Gianni was killed in 1997, Donatella took his place as creative director.
Since stepping into Versace’s most central role, Donatella made such bold moves as undertaking a hotel project in the brand’s name. She is also credited with steering the brand into the 21st century without abandoning the foundation that her brother laid at its outset.
Eventually, Versace was sold to Michael Kors, but still maintains its own brand identity.
An Acquired Taste
Despite being very well known, Versace doesn’t top the list of most valuable luxury brands. In fact, it’s not even in the top 10. Despite this, Versace is still competitive in the luxury market.
Prada is valued on the list at $4.8 billion; Versace was said to be worth $2 billion when it was sold to Michael Kors, so although Versace isn’t quite up to the same level as some older luxury brands, it’s not in a completely different league.
Strutting The Catwalk
One of the biggest ways Versace maintains its visibility is through participating in major fashion shows. Not only does this allow the brand to debut its new items, it also gets those items photographed and circulated.
What’s more, some of the world’s most famous models, like Naomi Campbell, have long been proponents for Versace and participated in their shows.
The Death of A Star
By far the biggest news to ever rock the Versace brand was the death of its founder, Gianni, in 1997 at the hands of a mentally ill fan. Not only was this news a major shock to the world in ‘97, but it has been revisited countless times in pop culture.
Though it would have been easy for the house to fall into disarray when Gianni was killed, Donatella proved herself equal to the challenge. Now, the tragic death of the original Versace may actually contribute to the popularity of the brand.
A Luxury Institution
Versace may not be valued the highest of any luxury brand, but it has a special place in luxury fashion. In 2018, the house had a banner year, receiving major press when Donatella Versace dressed many major stars for the Met Gala.
At that time, Versace rose from the 21st most popular luxury brand for online shopping to the 7th, a testament to the power it still has in the industry.
Despite enduring plenty of tribulation, Versace holds fast as a worldwide symbol of luxury and fashion innovation.