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Donatella Versace: Just a Sister

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Donatella VersaceIf there is an icon of vulgarity, then this woman could fully fall into this concept. Ironed and bleached hair, lips blown with collagen, skin tanned to spots, clever blades of eyes, excess of plastic surgery miracles stood out a mile - this is her, a great sister of the great brother. Donatella Versace.

Donatella was born in Calabria to the family of an ordinary tailor in 1956 and 10 years after her magnificent brother was born.

Just after the graduation from the university Donatella moved to her brother Gianni Versace to Milan who has established his own Fashion House by that time and held the office of a PR-manager, while their elder brother Santo, the economists, proceeded to finance of Versace family enterprise. Soon, apart from issues of image and publicity, Donatella added a new youth line Versus to her list of responsibilities which remains a well-known Versace inner line. And this line contributed significant amount of assets to the overall turnover of Versace Company estimated in many millions.

As soon as Gianni Versace was tragically killed at the doors to his own villa on July 15, 1997, his Fashion House was at the threat of ruin. The Empire supported and maintained by the talented Gianni Versace was ready to get destroyed, and there was no way out. Then Donatella energetically took matters into her own hands. And only three months later after the death of her glorious brother, she released her collections that were very cool admitted by the public and critics. And another headache added to the overall rejection and disapproval was various guesses appeared in mass media. They said that Donatella and Santo concerned to the murder since they always wanted to manage the Company independently as well as the mafia laundering money in his boutiques. But there was no confirmation of any gossips. It is known that Donatella spent a fortune to withdraw the most information about life of her brother Gianni from the investigation materials to prevent publication and duplication of the book about him. the author to the book was Frank Monte and his book reflected the whole Versace family.

And Donatella showed herself as the real Italians, that is strong and determined. They still remember her words, «I am not my brother, and I cannot replace him». She decided not to achieve exact similarity with Gianni's style, anyway this was impossible. She went the other way: she found her own niche and managed to cope with all problems.

Staying in the frame of styles created by Gianni, Donatella made new models (almost her own) by Versace more womanly, comfortable and less aggressive by the sexual appeal. Hence, eroticism and luxury remained the key components of Versace style so easily recognized.

She never forgot that first of all she is the professional by marketing findings. Her PR skills were expressed in very well selected trends of publicity. Donatella re-established the faltered status of the House in the fashion world for the short period and won the respect of colleagues designers and businessmen. Precisely following publicity traditions set by Gianni, she made stakes on celebs who attended every fashion show. Elton John, Liz Hurley, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kate Moss were frequent guests at Versace show and even Charles, The Prince, once attended the show.

And the miracle happened. Versace Empire survived. It grew significantly and developed: in 1998 the annual turnover of the Company exceeded 560 million dollars. Nowadays 40 style designers work supervised by Donatella, 17 clothing lines are developed, around 300 boutiques and 3000 commercial units function.

Bear also in mind that Donatella is merely a woman. She is married for long time, she has a daughter who is the principal heiress of Gianni Versace and who has her own problems.

And this iron lady has her problems either. Recently she had to make attempts to overcome the pernicious dependence. Stresses, shock, overstrain, and she really got hooked on. Her close friend Elton John bodily dragged her to the famous addiction clinic in Arizona. She says that she feels okay. But look in her eyes. It may be a PR, isn't it?

Natalia Rudenko

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