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Gianni Versace

Italian, 1946-1997

The signature extravagance of legendary fashion designer Gianni Versace — forever aligned with glamour, sex, celebrity and spectacle — can overshadow the Italian couturier’s broad and deep engagement with history and culture. More than any designer before him, Versace mined celebrity, music and Pop art for inspiration, and his subversive, maximalist and unabashedly seductive designs infused high fashion with an entirely new ethos.

I don’t believe in good taste,” Versace once explained. Instead, he had a sexy good time with fashion — as he did with life. Today, vintage Gianni Versace clothing, handbags and other accessories look astonishingly fresh and freshly relevant.

Gianni Versace was born in 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, he 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 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. 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” — as the moment when the two worlds of fashion and pop culture became one, changing both forever.

Versace's 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 evening dresses, handbags, day dresses and more on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
Gianni Versace Red Leather Motorcycle Jacket and Skirt A/W 1994
By Gianni Versace
Located in Water Mill, NY
A fabulous and rare red patent leather motorcycle jacket with matching skirt from Gianni Versace. It has all of Versace's amazing attention to detail including Medusa head pulls on t...

1990s Italian Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace Butterfly Silk Men's Shirt 1995 as seen on Javier Bardem
By Gianni Versace
Located in Concord, NC
Gianni Versace Barocco with Butterflies, Medusa, and Fruit Silk Shirt. Featuring the Barocco with Butterflies print from 1995 depicting Multi Colored butterfly motifs throughout alo...

1990s Italian Gianni Versace

F/W 1994 Gianni Versace Ad Runway Gold Metallic Cable Knit Turtleneck Sweater
By Gianni Versace, Gianni Versace Couture
Located in Philadelphia, PA
TheRealList presents: an incredible gold-colored Gianni Versace turtleneck sweater, designed by Gianni Versace. From the Fall/Winter 1994 collection, this sweater debuted on the seas...

1990s Italian Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace Vintage 90s Suit
By Gianni Versace
Located in Carnate, IT
GIANNI VERSACE Suit. Jacket + Skirt. 90s Vintage piece. The composition label is faded. We think it's a light wool blend, lined in branded silk. Italian size 42. Shoulders 42 cm Bus...

Late 20th Century Italian Gianni Versace

1990s Versace Black and White Crop Vest
By Gianni Versace, Versace
Located in Lugo (RA), IT
Versace black cotton crop vest, featuring a V-neck and front zip closure. White edges and pointed front flaps. Size: 42 IT Linear measures Height: 47 cm Bust: 48 cm Shoulders: 40 c...

1990s Gianni Versace

New Gianni Versace F/W 2001 Runway Vintage Leather Cutout Back Plunged Dress
By Gianni Versace
Located in Fort Myers, FL
New Gianni Versace F/W 2001 Runway Vintage Leather Cutout Back Plunged Dress IT 44

Early 2000s Gianni Versace

Vintage VERSUS by GIANNI VERSACE Size 38 Black Studded Leather Belt
By Versus, Gianni Versace
Located in San Francisco, CA
Vintage VERSACE by GIANNI VERSACE belt comes in a black leather with a studded design throughout featuring lion head details and a buckle closure. Made in Italy. Good Pre-Owned Cond...

19th Century Italian Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace Couture Handbag Top Handle Black White Abstract Dots Vintage 90s
By Gianni Versace, Gianni Versace Couture
Located in Port Saint Lucie, FL
Gianni Versace Couture top handle bag with black and white abstract dot pattern, likely made in the early 90s. A chic little bag that's perfect for holding your essentials! Faux lea...

1990s Italian Gianni Versace

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Gianni Versace Sellers

Gianni Versace fashion for sale on 1stDibs

Find extraordinary range of authentic Gianni Versace fashion available on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of red, purple, blue and other tones. Most of the items here were designed during the 20th Century, but you can find examples that were created as recently as the 21st Century and Contemporary. Customers interested in this designer might also find the work of Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaïa appealing. On 1stDibs, find Gianni Versace, vintage and haute couture fashion from top boutiques around the world. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $40 and tops out at $112,000 while the average work can sell for $1,261.
Questions About Gianni Versace
  • 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 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 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 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.

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