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Gianni Versace, usually referred to as Versace, is an Italian fashion company and trade name founded by Gianni Versace in 1978.
The first Versace boutique was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978 (though the Versace family are from Reggio Calabria), and its popularity was immediate. Today, Versace is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. Versace designs, markets, and distributes luxury clothing, accessories, makeup, and home furnishings under the various brands of the Versace Group. In 1994, the brand became a household name after the widespread coverage of the Black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley.
Gianni Versace was killed by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997. His sister Donatella Versace, formerly vice-president, then stepped in as creative director of Versace and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO. Donatella's daughter Allegra Versace also has owned 50 percent of the company since 2004 as bequeathed by Gianni in his last will. Allegra also has the last say about the sale and other important details in the Versace clothing line.
After the corporate crisis of 2001-2002, in 2003 Fabio Massimo Cacciatori started the restoration. Since 2004 Giancarlo Dirisio, from IT Holding, has been CEO of the group. In July 2009 Giangiacomo Ferraris, from Jil Sander Group, was appointed the new CEO.
Versace's style department employs a group of designers and stylists who work in teams. Each team is specifically dedicated to one fashion line or label. These teams operate under the close supervision and guidance of Donatella Versace.