Article Dec 08, 2016

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Gianni Versace persuaded Donatella to dye her hair blonde at 11

Donatella Versace was talked into dying her hair blonde by her brother Gianni Versace when she was just a girl.

A new book titled Versace by Donatella Versace delves into the familial fashion dynasty founded in 1978, and lifts the lid on the creative director's relationship with her influential designer sibling, who was tragically shot and killed at the age of 50 by Andrew Cunanan on the steps of his Miami, Florida mansion in 1997.

In the first chapter of the book, Donatella’s signature platinum blonde hair is discussed, with it revealed that her brother originally persuaded her to dye her hair blonde so that she could emulate Italian singer Patty Pravo.

“Back then Gianni was so obsessed with Pravo, an iron-straight-haired blonde...,” the author writes.

“They both knew their mother would have a fit, but the adoring younger sister went along with her brother’s invention of her new blonde look,” contributor Ingrid Sischy added, “And she has never looked back.”

Donatella also shares how Gianni once pushed her to take the keys from their father's car, so he could drive to a Pravo concert in Sicily.

However, the car, described in the book as a "baby blue convertible", broke down on the way.

"Gianni told me to open the hood and see what was wrong with the engine,” Donatella writes in the tome. "I said, ‘Are you crazy? How am I going to do that?’”

They got to the concert but “never saw the car again” and hitchhiked home, according to the designer’s account.

The book, which was written in collaboration with Maria Luisa Frisa and Stefano Tonchi, focuses on the brand’s most iconic red carpet moments since 1997 and features imagery featuring Versace muses including Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista by the likes of Richard Avedon, Steven Meisel and Irving Penn.

The book is out now in Europe and will be released in the U.S. in November (16).