In AnOther Magazine Spring/Summer 2021, Donatella Versace tells Alexander Fury about what she learnt during lockdown
This article is taken from the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of AnOther Magazine. To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are making the issue free and available digitally for a limited time only to all our readers wherever you are in the world. Sign up here.
“I learnt a great deal during lockdown. I truly understood the importance of community, of standing together to fight – I was really moved by the way we all joined in a global embrace of solidarity. It was not only about donations and charity, but also knowing that no one was alone, that help can come in so many unexpected ways. It was really touching. And that includes the Black Lives Matter movement. For me, and for Versace, the Black community – actually, all diverse communities – have always been part of the family. And in our family, we embrace each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we care, we protect. After lockdown, after time spent thinking about the things I say, I realised that I was not yet doing enough. That talking about inclusivity and diversity did not make things different, that I had to commit on a deeper level. What matters is not the colour of our skin, where we come from or our religious beliefs, but what we bring to the table. I am interested in what people have to say, in what people do.”
Donatella Versace has headed the fashion house bearing her name since the murder of her elder brother Gianni, its founder, in 1997. But she has been involved since the very beginning, working alongside him on collections and campaigns. Throughout its history, Versace has been known for taking an unapologetic stance on LGBTQ+ inclusion, and for the diversity of its ‘faces’, which have included figures such as Prince and Tupac, who modelled in a Versace advertising campaign and fashion show, respectively. For Spring/Summer 2021, Versace included diversity in body shape for the first time, casting models Precious Lee, Alva Claire and Jill Kortleve. “Fashion reflects the world we live in,” Donatella says. “Today that world is so different from the one
we knew even six months ago.”