Donatella Versace Opens up About Her Spring 2018 Tribute Collection

We sat down with the designer to discuss how the brand has evolved since her brother’s passing, and how she’s kept his memory alive.

Donatella Versace at Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo: BFA for Saks Fifth Avenue 

Donatella Versace at Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo: BFA for Saks Fifth Avenue 

When I walked into a super-luxe VIP personal styling suite at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store on Tuesday night, I wasn’t there as a customer waiting to be transformed into a sartorial icon, as many women come to do on their lunch breaks. Instead, I was there to be in the presence of one: Donatella Versace

I sat down on a plush, velvet tufted sofa, and was greeted by a warm smile attached to a pocket-size woman. This is Donatella: her instantly recognizable icy blonde hair, Versace body-con minidress and sky-high shoes make her physical presence right before my eyes astoundingly clear. Within seconds, she began reminiscing about the time her late brother, Gianni Versace, threw a party at Studio 54 with Saks, where he was literally handing out clothes to everybody in sight. 

Her face lit up as she talked about Gianni and the boundary-breaking fashion career he had, brutally cut short 20 years ago. But after two decades of picking up the pieces and moving the brand forward, Donatella decided it was time to look back and celebrate the past. “It was very hard to go back and see the archive,” she explained. “I wasn’t able to do it for a long time because of the emotions involved, but I finally found the courage. To see all the things Gianni did was incredible.”