Article Dec 21, 2016

You are no longer passing

Donatella Versace seeks to empower women with strong designs

Donatella Versace hopes her designs empower women.

The fashion maven is the current vice president of the Versace Group, as well as its chief designer. Helming the contemporary European label for nearly 20 years, following the tragic murder of her brother Gianni in 1997, Donatella considers the secret to her success to be creating designs which convey a sense of strength.

"I understand the insecurity of women, and I try to empower them," she told Harper’s Bazaar magazine. "I love the power of clothing, and how it expresses so much about the way we live our lives."

For Versace’s spring 2017 collection, unveiled at Milan Fashion Week in September (16), Donatella presented a collection of activewear-inspired pieces, with models including Edie Campbell and Taylor Hill donning billowy nylon parkas, body-con leggings with tight sporty T-shirts.

And whether it is a fun parka or an elegant gown, Donatella, 61, believes it is the wearer who gives life to any garment.

"If you have the human factor missing, it doesn’t work. Women give soul to the clothes they wear. Without that, it’s just a coat or a dress," she explained.

Meanwhile, the platinum blonde star puts a lot of her own confidence down to the fact that her mother Francesca instilled a strong work ethic in her from a young age. She adds that her mother also encouraged the designer to seek independence above all else.

"I can always hear her – if I close my eyes, I can still hear her voice saying, 'Don’t take anything for granted' – don’t think men are going to support you, you must support yourself," said Donatella.