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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
$1,608
NWT Versus Versace Vintage Pink Bodycon Dress
By Versus, Gianni Versace
Located in Paris, FR
VERSUS by Gianni Versace, Made in Italy, circa 90’s. Pink bodycon mini dress designed by Gianni Versace for Versus. This dress has a very Y2K vibe with her shiny pink color. The dre...
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21st Century and Contemporary Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace Vintage Mens Red & Blue Suede Color Block Coat Jacket, A/W 1997
By Gianni Versace
Located in Doncaster, South Yorkshire
An incredible vintage mens Gianni Versace jacket from the Autumn Winter 1997 collection (designed by Gianni himself). In a blue and red color blocked suede with four Medusa head butt...
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1990s Gianni Versace

F/W 1994 Gianni Versace Couture Ad Campaign Faux Fur Leopard Print Shoulder Bag
By Gianni Versace Couture, Gianni Versace
Located in Philadelphia, PA
TheRealList presents: a vintage Gianni Versace Couture patent and faux fur shoulder bag, designed by Gianni Versace. From the Fall/Winter 1994 collection, this bag debuted on the sea...
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1990s Gianni Versace

F/W 1992 Gianni Versace Couture Bondage (Miss S&M) Runway Collection Red Blazer
By Gianni Versace, Gianni Versace Couture
Located in Philadelphia, PA
TheRealList presents: a bright red tapered Gianni Versace Couture blazer, designed by Gianni Versace. From the 'Miss S&M' Gianni Versace Fall/Winter 1992 collection, commonly known a...
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1990s Gianni Versace

1990s Vintage Versace Jeans Couture Black Pants in Ombre Rainbow Zebra Print
By Gianni Versace, Versace
Located in Portland, OR
This 1990's pair of Versace Jeans Couture pants is in a very unique ombre or rainbow Zebra print! These peg legged jeans have all of the expected silver medusa hardware and close w...
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1990s Gianni Versace

Versace square vintage sunglasses
By Gianni Versace
Located in Feasterville Trevose, PA
MAKE: Versace MODEL: 311 - Brown MADE IN: Italy ERA: 1980s CONDITION: New Old Stock [never worn] DIMENSIONS: Lens width: 54 mm / 2 1/8 in Lens height: 41 mm / 1 5/8 in Bridge: 1...
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1980s Gianni Versace

Versace Black dress
By Gianni Versace
Located in Capri, IT
Versace Black dress Gold tone hardware totally made in italy in size 40
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1990s Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace Graffiti art shirt
By Gianni Versace
Located in Capri, IT
Gianni Versace Graffiti art shirt totally made in italy in size L
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1990s Gianni Versace

Browse all Fashion from 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.

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