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Unauthorized Gianni Versace biography in the works

July 18, 2016

Gianni Versace Gianni Versace


Actor Antonio Banderas has been cast to play fashion designer Gianni Versace in an unauthorized biographical film.

Mr. Versace was born in 1946 in Reggio Calabria, Italy and launched his namesake fashion label in 1978 in Milan after successful collections for Italian ready-to-wear brand Genny’s in the ‘70s. On July 15, 1997, at age 50, Mr. Versace was murdered on the steps of his Miami home by Andrew Cunanan as he returned from a morning walk on Ocean Drive.

Fashion film
Upon Mr. Versace’s untimely death, his brother Santo and Jorge Saud became the brand’s CEOs and his sister Donatella became the new head of design at Versace.

The Versace family is not involved with the forthcoming project starring Mr. Banderas, and they have stated that the film should be seen as a “work of fiction.”

Nevertheless, the biography will be directed by Bille August and will begin filming this December in Milan. Per Italian media reports, the project will also be on location in Reggio Calabria and Miami.

Over the weekend, Ms. Versace used her personal Instagram account (see story) to honor the memory of her brother on the anniversary of his death.

15 July 1997 - RIP

A photo posted by Donatella Versace (@donatella_versace) on Jul 14, 2016 at 11:20pm PDT

While this project is not supported by Mr. Versace’s family, other brands have sought to keep a curated image of their founders through authorized biographical films.

For example, jeweler Tiffany & Co. tapped Matthew Miele, director of “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” for a documentary chronicling its history.

Released in 2015, the documentary shed light on how Charles Lewis Tiffany developed the brand following its inception in 1837 and then travel through pivotal moments in its history (see story).