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Gianni Versace Couture

Italian

Subversive, maximalist and unabashedly seductive, Gianni Versace’s (1946–97) designs infused high fashion with an entirely new ethos. “I don’t believe in good taste,” the legendary Italian couturier once explained. Instead, he had a sexy good time with fashion — as he did with life.

Today, vintage Versace clothing, handbags and other accessories look astonishingly fresh and freshly relevant. The designer debuted his Atelier Versace line — which was part of the first Versace haute couture collection — in 1989. 

More than any designer before him, Versace mined celebrity, music and Pop art for inspiration. In fact, the New York Times noted in 1997 that the fashion industry “is now driven by contemporary culture because Mr. Versace made it that way.”

Insiders consider his 1991/1992 Autumn/Winter runway show — which featured supermodels Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista lip-synching George Michael’s “Freedom! '90” — the moment when the two worlds of fashion and pop culture became one, changing both forever.

Versace was born in Reggio di Calabria, Italy. His mother was a successful dressmaker who employed more than 40 seamstresses. As a child, little Gianni marveled at her workshop, which would become a university of sorts, where he learned the exceptional construction techniques that were at the foundation of his creative expression.

In 1972, at age 25, Versace moved to Milan to work in fashion. He launched his first collection — and his label — in 1978, with his older brother Santo managing the business concerns. Soon, sister Donatella, whom Gianni dressed and took to discos when she was still a child, joined the family venture, where she had a creative role and managed enormously popular ready-to-wear lines such as Versus.

Vintage Versace — and 1989's Gianni Versace Couture — has become catnip for modern fashion enthusiasts who seek out the now-iconic house codes that originated in the designs of the 1980s and 1990s. His glamorous and seductive apparel — the clingy skirts and slender, strappy party dresses, as well as the erotic magazine ads that publicized them — looms large, but Versace’s art and historical influences were also vast.

Versace was an art collector, and he took on commissions to create costumes for theatrical performances during the 1980s and spoke of looking to numerous cultures for inspiration. This adventurous spirit of design resulted in his creating jewel-toned prints rooted in Grecian motifs, Etruscan symbols, the Italian Baroque and Andy Warholʼs Marilyn Monroe. There were slinky dresses in Oroton, his patented chain-mail textile that draped like satin, and leather bondage ensembles. Sex sold, for both women and men. Wrote the late curator Richard Martin, “[Versace] became the standard-bearer of gay men’s fashion because he eschewed decorum and designed for desire.”

Following Versace’s tragic murder in 1997, Donatella took over the role of artistic director and continued to evolve the house codes with a twist of her feminine and feminist perspective. Today, Santo Versace is chief executive officer of Versace and Donatella is its chief creative officer.

Browse an extraordinary collection of vintage Gianni Versace Couture bags, dresses and more on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$2,271
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Gianni Versace Couture fashion for sale on 1stDibs.

Find an extraordinary range of authentic Gianni Versace Couture fashion available on 1stDibs. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Azzedine Alaïa, Emanuel Ungaro, and Gianfranco Ferré appealing. On 1stDibs, find haute couture, vintage and designer Gianni Versace Couture fashion from top boutiques around the world. Gianni Versace Couture fashion prices can differ depending upon time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $1,195 and tops out at $14,895, while the average work can sell for $5,195.
Questions About Gianni Versace Couture
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Giovanni Maria “Gianni” Versace was an Italian fashion designer and the founder of the brand Versace. He was known around the world for high-end, luxury designs that featured bold colors and prints with a sexy attitude. Versace was born in 1946 in Reggio Calabria, Italy and was killed outside his Miami Beach home in 1997. Find a collection of authentic Versace clothing, shoes and accessories from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 1, 2024
    No, Versace Jeans Couture and Versace are not exactly the same. Versace is the overall name of the Italian fashion house founded by Gianni Versace in Milan in 1978. Versace Jeans Couture is a brand under the Versace umbrella. It was launched in 2018 when Versace's diffusion lines Versus and Versace Jeans merged. The line features apparel and accessories inspired by rock and roll and is sold at slightly more economical price points than pieces from the Versace haute couture collection. On 1stDibs, shop a large selection of Versace apparel and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The name of Gianni Versace, the designer who revolutionized luxury fashion with his ultra-glamorous designs and theatrical bent beloved by supermodels and everyday people alike, is pronounced "jee-AH-nee ver-SAH-cheh." On 1stDibs, find vintage and contemporary Versace haute couture from top sellers around the world.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 25, 2024
    Yes, Versace is haute couture. The Italian fashion house is an official member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), which is the governing body in France that determines which firms can operate with haute couture status.

    More than any designer before him, Gianni Versace mined celebrity, music and Pop art for inspiration. In fact, the New York Times noted in 1997 that the fashion industry "is now driven by contemporary culture because Mr. Versace made it that way."

    On 1stDibs, find vintage Versace clothing and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Versace Jeans Couture is a diffusion line by Versace. In 2018, after Michael Kors purchased Versace, Kors integrated Versace’s diffusion line Versus with its line Versace Jeans, which became Versace Jeans Couture, now the brand’s only diffusion line. On 1stDibs, find vintage and contemporary Versace ready-to-wear and haute couture from top sellers around the world.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    No, Gianni Versace did not make his own fabric. Today the company uses fine fabric and leathers from Italy. Gianni Versace is often credited with inventing Oroton fabric, which is very fine chain mail, similar to the military chain mail which was first used around the 3rd century BC. Obviously, he did not invent this technique, but using very fine chain mail for high-end fashion can be attributed to his artistic vision. Find vintage and contemporary Versace bags, clothing and accessories from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2024
    Yes, Versace Jeans Couture is luxury. However, pieces from the line generally sell for lower prices than those from the Versace haute couture collection. Launched in 2018, Versace Jeans Couture is a diffusion brand specializing in denim, other apparel, handbags and accessories. Shop a diverse assortment of Versace pieces from some of the world's top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Gianni Versace designed haute couture clothing, as well as ready-to-wear styles. His more adventurous clothing was known for combining elements of luxurious classicism with overt sexuality. His clothing was glamorous and often worn by the rich and famous, yet still had an edgy vibe that people felt pushed the limits of good taste. You’ll find a large collection of Versace clothing from many of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The best way to authenticate a Versace Jeans Couture product is to use Versace’s own online authentication system. For more information about the system, consult the brand’s website. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of expertly-vetted Versace clothing and accessories from some of the world’s top sellers.

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