The New York Times famously stated that “…only once every ten years a star is born in fashion: Poiret, Chanel, Saint Laurent and now Versace…” A technical college dropout, Versace believed that his biannual collections were the equivalent of exams, each year learning something new and proving himself all over again.
He called the lure of fashion “a Londonian call of the wild”, inspiring him to devote his entire existence to design. Combining skillful tailoring with innovative materials, Versace produced clothing that could not be ignored.
Influenced by Andy Warhol, as well as Ancient Roman, Greek, and abstract art, his designs exploded with color and power. His list of celebrity clients is endless, from Princess Diana to Jennifer Lopez, from Elton John to Tupac Shakur. His womenswear introduced glamor and luxury, and his menswear broke the rules. In the words of Richard Martin, “His menswear was genuinely revolutionary, insisting on men as sex objects. He became the standard-bearer of gay men’s fashion because he eschewed decorum and designed for desire.”