Long before designers were iconic brands independent of their “day jobs,” there was Gianni Versace, an Italian man who, as The New York Times so elegantly wrote in his obituary in 1997, “brought rock, art, sexuality, and brilliant color into contemporary fashion.” Without question, the renewed interested in his story is thanks in part to the The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. But beyond the excessive '90s glamour of Ryan Murphy's latest production, which focuses on the designer’s death, there are few points of his life worth revisiting. Specifically, Versace’s contributions to the fashion industry, which changed the way it operates forever.
''He was the first to realize the value of the celebrity in the front row, and the value of the supermodel, and put fashion on an international media platform,'' Anna Wintour told The New York Times of the designer’s genius at the time of his death in 1997. ''He relished media attention and masterminded it, and everybody followed in his footsteps.''
It’s no wonder Versace, the brand, brought together Gianni’s girls to recreate one of the defining moments of the designer’s legacy: Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford (her daughter Kaia, too!), and Helena Christensen sported the label’s bold prints for its spring 2018 collection in September, which honored 20th anniversary of his death. And though the Versace family maintains FX’s show is nothing a work of pure fiction, there are five firsts Gianni Versace mastered; things that seem so normal now, but were revolutionary during his heyday.