On this day, July 15, in 1997, at the steps of his Miami home, fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot and killed by Andrew Cunanan after he took it upon himself to carry out the simply activity of grabbing his own newspapers at a local coffee shop, something his assistant often did on other days. This event caused a public outcry in the fashion community, prompting Naomi Campbell to even bawl her eyes out on live television and for American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to discuss his life and career after discovering the news of Versace’s sudden death. To this day, there are still many questions about his murder that much of the public is hoping to get answers to through Ryan Murphy’s upcoming “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” slated for release early 2018.
Versace’s provocative, and sometimes controversial, fashion collections set the tone for everything the early 90’s was: fun, freedom and fashion. His Fall 92’ “Miss S&M” show caused a stir for it’s bondaged up fashion, very obviously inspired by BDSM. In this day and age, the controversy seems rather silly after the juggernaut Fifty Shades Trilogy. Although this show is still looked highly upon, it was his Fall 91’ show that really caused a stir and initiated a supermodel movement that, to this day, is often imitated but never duplicated. Along with Campbell, Versace was very close friends with the peer supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, and for his Fall 91’ show, he sent all four of them simultaneously, swaying their hips, lip-syncing to George Michaels’ Freedom and in full Versace garb cementing this absolutely spectacular supermodel era.
Versace’s sister, Donatella Versace, a fashion legend on her own, posthumously took full creative control of the label, always maintaining the label innovative, youthful and fresh. This will always be very evident through its frequent references in pop culture.