Donatella Versace Biography:
Born May 2, 1955 in Reggio di Calabria, Italy, Donatella Versace is the younger sister of slain designer Gianni Versace, who made the name famous with Donatella as his muse and inspiration. She followed Gianni at a young age as a knitwear designer and soon helped him launch his ubiquitous label. He awarded her with her own diffusion label, Versus which still produces clothes today.
Originally intent on being in public relations with her brother's line, Donatella has used that PR knowledge to help keep the Versace name in the news despite some financial hardships after her brother's death in 1997.
After a fire sale of his extensive homes and art collection, she used the capital to launch the first Versace couture line and has now branched into luxury hotels after the opening of Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast of Australia. Plans have been announced for several more Palazzo Versace resorts, including one in Dubai.
Donna Versace Commercial Success:
Donatella's success as a fashion designer was pretty much instantaneous, due to the fact that her first line was gifted to her by Gianni. But after his murder, the Versace empire fell upon hard times. It was during the rebuilding process that Donatella showed her other talent - public relations.
Using such celebrity friends as Madonna, Demi Moore, Elton John and others, she began to equate the Versace name with celebrity in the public eye. By doing so, she managed to turn the Versace line back into a force in the fashion industry as she branches out into other pursuits like resorts.