In 1978, at the age of 31, Gianni Versace launched his own company in Milan with a women’s collection. Just one year later he asked the great photographer Richard Avedon to shoot his advertising campaign. This partnership was repeated several times, but Versace also worked with other renowned fashion photographers such as Helmut Newton, Bruce Weber and Irving Penn, establishing the aesthetic line of the firm.
In 1982 he began a collaboration with the Scala Theatre in Milan, and those works were presented, among others, in his first exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1985. Two other exhibitions would follow in 1986: one at the National Field Museum in Chicago and the other at the Musée de la Mode in Paris. In 1986 he launched Atelier Versace to present his first haûte couture collection. Each year there were Versace exhibitions around the world, since his talent was getting more and more recognized: he designed stage costumes for Elton John, and his dresses were worn by celebrities and top models.
"Gianni Versace died on July 1997 and his sister Donatella, in charge of the accessories, children’s and Versus lines, was named Creative Director of the Versace Group. Under Donatella’s leadership the firm has grown exponentially; she understands how to build a strong brand, maintaining the philosophy and style of her brother. Nowadays, apart from all the fashion collections, the company has its own spa and designs bespoke interiors for private jets."