Armani & Versace: rivalry between two fashion giants

Versace fashion show

“I dress the ladies of easy behavior, you dress the ladies who go to church” Gianni Versace. A phrase that started a war between two giants of the global fashion industry, Versace and Armani. 

In the 70’s-80’s, when US women wanted business and elegant clothes, and men on the contrary were tired of excessive strictness, Armani collections were received with extraordinary delight. Yes, and quickly gaining popularity among celebrities in Hollywood could not help but attract attention.  

By the way, all this is thanks to boyfriend Sergio Galeotti, who inspired Armani to create his own brand, and to accumulate start-up capital – to sell his Volkswagen “beetle”. 

Versace had to take the American market almost by storm and at the same time his success was lightning fast.

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A lover of extremes, sometimes shocking, never mediocre, Gianni Versace was able to subtly capture the mood of the public and brilliantly express all shades of pleasure. After all, he himself knew how to live so that to get maximum pleasure from everything he did, which further charmed and won recognition. In addition to all the advantages, he had a lot of flaws, but his incredible sincerity leveled any criticism. Provocative outfits undressed rather than clothed the most beautiful women, but the sense of confidence and sexuality they gave, they simply had no equal.  

On the list of admirers of his work, the highest paid celebrities: Demi Moore, Elizabeth Hurley, Madonna, Jane Fonda, Courtney Love and others. 

Another reason for the feud between Armani and Versace was the fierce desire of the two fashion designers to attract the best models to their shows, such as Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista. To achieve this goal, Gianni Versace began to offer models fabulous sums of fees. This ushered in the dawn of the supermodel era and naturally caused a lot of resentment from Armani, who felt that Versace was turning his shows into a lustful show. 

Versace fashion show

And, in fact, Armani had plenty of reasons for dissatisfaction in general. Giorgio Armani had been working his way to success for many years, while Gianni’s success literally “fell on his head”. Armani broadcast elegance and good taste, while Gianni’s main handwriting was frank sexuality on the verge of kitsch. Both couturiers were rich people, while Giorgio put aside savings and did not make wasteful spending, Gianni Versace bought expensive real estate around the world and enjoyed luxury.  

The rivalry between Gianni Versace and Armani was not only a battle for the market, but also a struggle for dominance in the world of fashion. Their competitive attitude was fueled by the pride, talent and innovation that each of them brought to the fashion industry.

However, this did not prevent the latter from writing a foreword to a book about him after Versace’s murder, calling his rival “an outstanding creator”, and in an interview on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s death, Armani replied:

“What do I remember about him? “His amazing activity, the sense of happiness that in everything – ideas, trends, memories, art – was combined with nonchalance and vitality. ‘He was an outstanding creator’.

Today, some often call Armani’s collections boring, if not outdated. Gianni’s collections continue to shine on the catwalks, create new exclusive designs and glorify the name of the great couturier thanks to the charming heiress of the Fashion House – Donatella Versace.

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