Fashion Designer. Charismatic and accomplished designer of clothing and theater costumes, Versace was influenced by Andy Warhol and modern abstract art. Born to humble beginnings in Reggio Calabria, Southern Italy, Versace was first introduced to the world of fashion by his dressmaker mother, from whom he learned tailoring skills, and designed his first dress at the age of nine. He moved to Milan at the age of 25 and, without formal training, worked as a freelance designer for other houses. In 1978 he presented his first collection for women signed with his own name in a fashion show at the 'Palazzo della Permanente'. About the same time, he started a collaboration with American photographer Richard Avedon, who would shoot all the Versace catalogs and with whom Versace will co-author several books until his death. Versace transformed fashion shows into media events, luring his numerous celebrity friends (such as Princess Diana, Elton John, Madonna, RuPaul, and Woody Allen) into the audience and helping to ignite the supermodel phenomenon. He is also credited with indirectly launching Elizabeth Hurley's career, after lending her the famous 'safety pin' dress for the British premiere of Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994. Versace was gunned down outside his Miami Beach home.
Bio by: MC