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An exclusive interview with Donatella Versace (1/2)

October 27th, 2011


As you probably already know, Versace is getting ready to launch a capsule collection with retail giant H&M, due in stores on November 19th. Until then, read our exclusive interview with the woman in charge of this famed fashion house, and the sister of the label’s late founder, Gianni: Donatella Versace.


“There are so many iconic moments in the history of Versace. One of the most iconic is when Gianni invented the supermodel. For the first time, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford were on the catwalk together. George Michael was singing Freedom. Everybody remembers that show. Or when Jennifer Lopez wore the palm print dress. The next day she was on the cover of every newspaper around the world. It was amazing. Of course there is Liz Hurley in the safety pin dress too.

There are always new icons of Versace: there’s Angelina Jolie wearing an incredible Versace couture gown, and Lady Gaga wearing a studded leather archive look. You have all these extremes. I love extremes. I don’t like anything in the middle.”


“Gianni was the first to do pieces for the home, so it’s a great privilege to be the first designer collaboration to create home pieces for H&M. We’ve used the Techno Japan print to make these cushion and duvet covers, which are just incredible.

My own home is full of Versace home pieces. I mix up pieces from the new collections with pieces from the archive, changing it all the time. One thing I cannot stand is white houses anymore. It is easy to have a white house, easy to look like you have good taste. But to me, that is banality. That’s why I love prints!”


“The prints are one of the most important parts of the Versace heritage. For H&M, we have used my prints as well as Gianni’s prints. From the mid-90s we have used the palm tree print, and also the Miami print. And from Versace today we have used my “techno Japan” print. One of my favourite pieces from the collection is the print dress which has the techno Japan print in six different colours – from the front its blue, black and green, and when you turn it’s a whole other story.”

I love the printed leggings, the printed cashmere sweaters, and the printed jeans, too. Nobody does printed jeans, so I thought, why not do it? The H&M collaboration has given me the freedom, and the chance, to do it. There are also other ways with prints in the collection, like the printed sequin and fringe dress, which uses a print that the artist Jim Dine created for the house in the 1990s, the printed fringing an idea that comes from one of my most recent collections.”


“The Versace DNA is full of contrasts that create the unique signature of the house, and you can see it in so many of the iconic pieces for H&M. I love the jersey dress with the studs, because it shows how there is always a balance between hard and soft in Versace. It is also how I believe women are too: strong, but also with a softer side.

There is also the contrast between the exuberance of the prints, and then the classicism of the crepe dresses with gold buttons, like the black dress with the cutaway back, or the dress with lace panels at the side. It’s a different mood, but it’s always all Versace.”

On Monday, read part II of our exclusive interview with Donatella Versace on our blog. Discover new details about the H&M capsule collection….We can’t wait to get our hands on that famous Techno Japan dress!


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