Gianni Versace, the founder of this famous design house, is known mostly for being the first designer to link fashion to music. He was also notorious in some circles for being openly gay. 1978 was the year that saw the opening of the first Versace boutique. This happened in Milan. As a young boy, Versace learned a lot under his mother, who was a seamstress. It is a little known fact that before he busted into the fashion scene after studying fashion design in Milan, he also studied architecture. He acknowledged that his biggest inspiration was Andy Warhol.
Mr. Versace was diagnosed with cancer, but sadly, he died before the cancer got too serious. Andrew Cunanan, a spree killer, murdered him.
Every organization and company goes through a transition when its owner dies. After Versace’s death, the control of the company remained in the family itself. His sister, whom he had appointed Vice President during his lifetime, took over the mantle of creative director. His brother, however, assumed the position of CEO. Things went well for a while, but the company was plagued by problems and increasing losses in the early 2000s. Going against the family control tradition, in 2003, Fabio Massimo Cacciatori was hired as an interim CEO. His major job was to turn over a new leaf and possibly the fortunes of the company. But he did not stay long and resigned a few months. He said he did not agree or get along with the Versace family on important issues.
2009 onwards, Gian Giacomo Ferraris has operated as the CEO. The company has upwards of eighty boutiques worldwide. It made news this year when the Blackstone Group bought a twenty percent stake in the company.
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