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Donatella Versace Talks Gay Brother & More at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Donatella Versace Talks Gay Brother & More at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

Donatella Versace pictured at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

The renowned fashion designer had much to share in an illuminating discussion at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Donatella Versace spoke extensively about her late gay brother Gianni, her friendship with Prince, and supermodel catfights during a talk held at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

The discussion – which took place at the Renberg Theatre at Ed Gould Plaza – was moderated by center CMO Phillip Picardi, and followed a tour of the center’s Hollywood campus. Her visit came as a new scholarship program for LGBTQ+ fashion students sponsored by the Versace Foundation and the Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) was launched.

Versace shared the story of her brother, Gianni, coming out to her at age 11.

“And then,” she added, “he asked me to bleach my hair blonde,” Variety reports.

Gianni Versace publically came out in 1995 in an interview with The Advocate.

Following Gianni Versace’s murder in 1997, Donatella became the new head of design for the family’s luxury brand. While her male business associates initially doubted her abilities, they later came to trust her judgment and expertise. Now, Versace shared, smiling, “They say, ‘Do more, do what you want.”

Versace went on to discuss her friendship with musical legend Prince, who once put on a private concert for the designer in his own home. “Prince was the most generous person I ever met,” Versace said, before applauding his forward-looking fashion choices. “He was doing it 20 years ago — the jewelry, the hair.”

The designer also recalled the “terrible” early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, according to Variety. “I lost so many friends,” she said, “it was terrible.”

Versace also recounted a supermodel catfight that took place at a 2017 fashion show. In tribute to her brother on the 20th anniversary of his death, Versace reunited modeling legends Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Helena Christensen, and Carla Bruni. Versace did not reveal the culprit but stated that a fight broke out when one model stole a dress from another’s trailer.

Variety notes that Versace’s fall-winter 22-23 collection will premiere in Los Angeles this Friday.

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