Versace is one of the few brands where you can immediately tell which designer created the item of clothing or accessory, even without a bold logo. Iconic patterns, quotes from mythology and the Baroque and a Medusa head as the Versace logo – the Italian luxury brand is cult. But what message did Gianni Versace have in mind by choosing the Medusa? And how did he develop his unique style? Here comes our foray into the world of Versace’s symbolism!
Why the Medusa? Meaning of the Versace Logo
When Gianni Versace founded his fashion label in 1978, he simply used his name in large-print as the brand logo. Versace’s penchant for antiquity grew stronger over the years, and so in 1993 he chose a Medusa head as its trademark. But why did Versace choose the Medusa? Wasn’t she a monster? Quite simply, Versace chose the Gorgon from Greek mythology as his logo because she was a woman of such beguiling beauty that she captivated everyone around her. Once anyone looked at her, they could not turn away. Exactly like Versace’s fashion.
The fact that Medusa had snake hair and her gaze turned people to stone may not have made her likeable, but it made her all the more powerful and desirable. The perfect representative of a fashion company whose aim is to create desire. Fortunately, no one needs to be afraid of getting turned to stone any more these days!
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Myths and Patterns – The Legendary Versace Style
Of course, the Medusa, usually in luxurious gold, is the ultimate clue that we’re dealing with a pair of Versace sunglasses or an It bag from the Milanese fashion empire. But Versace’s symbolism goes much deeper. Gianni Versace loved the opulence, the exuberance and the design elements of the Baroque, which he encountered every day on the facades of houses and squares in his home city of Milan. For his fashion, he translated them into striking patterns, combined animal with geometric symbols, interwove leopards and lions with scrolls and classical Greek banderoles, mixed chains, keys and flowers into new combinations. In terms of colour, the designer opted for gold and colours such as strong red or blue. This combination of history, art and architecture in fashion was and still is unique.
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Versace-Mania: A Hype is Born
The Versace logo and patterns launched a new era in the 80s, which were characterised by strict pinstripes and dots. Soon there was not only high fashion with the colourful Versace prints, but also wallpaper, plates, bags and T-shirts with the iconic logo. There were also perfumes, jewellery and even sportswear. Trousers with the famous “The Greek” pattern by Versace have become a favourite among rappers.
For fellow fashion designers such as Giorgio Armani, Valentino or Gucci, who tended to focus on classic elegance or posh equestrian styles, Versace’s pompous designs were a vulgar horror, but the fashion-savvy masses loved the style of the “master of neo-baroque“. They stormed the Versace boutiques from Milan to New York, bought everything that was not nailed down from shirts to suits and made Gianni Versace the master of an empire that today covers almost every price segment with various sub-brands such as Versace Jeans Couture or Atelier Versace.
Donatella Versace – Fashion Icon and Designer
After Gianni Versace was shot dead in the street in 1997 for reasons that remain unexplained to this day, his sister Donatella took over the creative direction of the company. She continued Gianni’s decadent, flamboyant style in her collections, but had to endure a prolonged dry spell before she could bring the label back to its former glory.
For a few years now, the legendary Versace pattern in black, white and gold has once again become the favourite among influencers – and Donatella Versace has long since become an international style icon herself.
Versace Eyewear – Baroque, Bold, Beguiling
Versace sunglasses and Versace glasses may not feature animal patterns or large-scale prints, but Versace wouldn’t be Versace if the temples weren’t adorned with decorative elements such as the golden Versace logo of Medusa or the legendary “The Greek” pattern. The powerful shapes and bold patterns bring the ancient symbols into the here and now. A signature style that the Italian fashion house conveys with the utmost perfection. If you like mystical, sultry and opulent style, you’ll never go wrong with Versace.