Donatella Versace is one of the fashion industry's most recognizable figures. Versace's fans call her an icon, a title that was further established at the Fashion Awards hosted in London at the end of last year when she received the Fashion Icon award.
Lady Gaga explains why Donatella Versace is an icon
The moment capped off a successful year for Versace's artistic director who wowed the fashion industry and fans online when she staged a special tribute to her late brother, and the brand's founder, Gianni Versace, during the label's Spring-Summer 2018 show during Milan Fashion week in September.
Marking 20 years since her brother's murder in 1997, the show brought together Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni, who walked arm in arm down the catwalk during the finale as George Michael's "Freedom" played.
On the eve of the latest round of shows during Milan Fashion Week, Donatella Versace's name and image remain firmly in the public eye, with Ryan Murphy's "American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace," in which Penelope Cruz plays the role of Donatella Versace, undoubtedly contributing to the spike in interest.
But it's her contribution to the fashion industry and influence extending far beyond the sector that makes Donatella Versace an icon in the eyes of many. The sheer green, navel-deep dress that she designed for Jennifer Lopez for the 2000 Grammy Awards is regarded as the reason Google Image Search exists.
More recently, she created all of the costumes for Lady Gaga's 2012-2013 "Born this Way" tour. And in 2015 she modeled Ricardo Tisci's Autumn-Winter 2015 Givenchy campaign. Tisci, who was creative director of Givenchy at the time said in a statement, "I approached my friend Donatella because she represents what a Fashion Icon is to me."
As part of a series of features commissioned by CNN Style's guest editor Claudia Schiffer, Donatella Versace stars in an exclusive film directed by Ivan Olita and narrated by Lady Gaga. The video, featuring cameos from model Gigi Hadid and British Vogue editor Edward Enninful among others, is a playful tribute to Donatella Versace, the icon.