15thJuly 1997, Gianni Versace was murdered in front of his house in Miami Beach by a homosexual antipathetic. It was a huge loss for Maison Versace of which Gianni was the founder and the artistic director.
After his death, 50% of Gianni Versace S.P.A. was left to his ‘princess’, this is how Gianni used to call his nephew Allegra, Donatella’s daughter, who was just eleven at that moment. Donatella and Santo, respectively Gianni’s sister and brother, took the wheels of his empire, whose revenues, updated to 1997, were around 845 billion lire and a profit before taxes equal to 176 billion lire. Donatella became the new creative director, while Santo took care of the economic side of the company, becoming the new CEO. Donatella tried to keep her brother’s style, elegance and lines, preserving the brand identity.
Nowadays, Versace is a successful high fashion brand, diversified also in the hotel and home business, with revenues around 645 million euros (2015), a 17% growth with respect to the previous year and 500 employees.
After twenty years from that terrible event, Donatella decided to stage a memorable runaway during the last Milan Fashion week. On Friday 22th September, she presented, gathered with the Spring/Summer 2018 collection, a tribute collection in memory of her brother. The tribute was made up of pieces, remembering some frame of Gianni’s most famous collections. Precisely, Vogue (PS 1991), Pop Art (PS 1991), Trésor de la Mer (PS 1992), Wild Baroques (PS 1992) and Native Americans (AW 1992).
On Versace’s e-commerce, customers have the possibility to buy the tribute collection t-shirts, whose prices go from 460 to 760 euros.
Furthermore, Farfetch, a multi-brand e-commerce, has partnered with London’s William Vintage to sell 500 pieces of Gianni Versace’s original designs, that span 20 years from his first collections to the latest one.
During the runaway Donatella’s voice resounded, in the Triennale di Milano, repeating significant elegies address to Gianni, for example, one of the most relevant was:’ This is the celebration of a genius, an icon, of my brother’.
At the end of the catwalk, Donatella, together with Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer wearing imperial long gold dresses, appeared behind a tent, in a sort of pyramid. The supermodels were very close to Gianni as core models for the maison, during the Nineties.
The Tribute got an incredible success among social media, the imagine of Donatella and the five supermodels was reposted 4.4k times on Facebook and all the most important newspapers wrote about the uniqueness of the event.
Now, we just need to wait and discover if the economic performance will be as successful as the media one. As far as we could see in the last two weeks, we can easily deduce that it might positively affect the next quarter of the company.