Five Things You Didn’t Know About Donatella Versace

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Her Signature Look Started at Age 11

From her platinum blond hair to her thick black eyeliner, Donatella Versace is as instantly recognizable as her namesake label. The Italian fashion designer has rocked her signature look for decades – since she was only 11, in fact – ever since her brother Gianni Versace reportedly talked her into changing her look.

She Started Dressing Celebrities First

“Who are you wearing?” is a common question on the red carpet but the tradition actually began with Donatella’s Jungle Dress. All eyes were on the sexy green number Jennifer Lopez wore during the 42nd Grammy Awards, which stole the show in its own right and also established the designer as one of the main players in the industry.

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She Made Her Own Success

According to a statement that Donatella made to New York magazine, she “did everything” for the company for “like a year and a half” leading up to her brother Gianni Versace’s death. Indeed, while Donatella was announced creative director of Versace shortly after her brother’s passing, it was not exactly a fresh role for the designer. “I was going up into his apartment, showing him the work, getting the approval from him, but I ran the company because he wasn't showing himself,” she explains.

Her Philanthropy

The Italian designer regularly contributes to philanthropic causes around the world, including her friend Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. She has also worked with the ONE Foundation, which helps victims of natural disasters, and was even nominated for VH1’s Do Something With Style Award for her support.

She Has Her Own Label

No, it is not also called ‘Versace’. Versus made its debut in 1989, and while the clothing line closed in 2005, Christopher Kane helped Donatella breathe new life back into the brand in 2009.

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