To say that Versace is a history of the brand is a tad misleading as the book is much more about Donatella Versace and the role she has played in the ascension of the brand. Without question Versace is a paean to the brand, to the eponymous designer, Gianni, but most of all to Donatella, the current creative director of Versace. She now captains the ship and please keep in mind that she is assiduously and purposefully not referred to as the designer.
The visual imagery within this book is no less than first-rate, with photography by some of the greatest and most renowned photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The offerings vary from advertising campaigns to behind the scene moments which are complete with credits and captions that include a veritable who’s who of the fashion world. If the prospective reader is only interested in the visuals, then this book can stand on its own even if the assortment is not offered in a more logical or chronological manner.
As for the text, it must be said that appreciation will depend on what frame of reference the particular reader might possess. To wit, how much does the reader know of the history of the brand and of Gianni Versace and its beginnings? This reader found the text to be a tad weighty at times and the tone, while trying to be modest, comes off as a bit of chest beating at times, occasionally pretentious. Understand that this is not a deficit as Donatella has managed to keep this brand on the radar under the harshest of circumstances, and she deserves to be proud of that.
The reader should come away with the facts that Gianni was one of the great designers of the 20th century and that he and his sister were forces to be reckoned with. They might have even been referred to as prescient in their unified vision. For years she remained in his shadow but certainly put her imprimatur on the brand. If you are a lover and devoted follower of the brand, this book is made for you. If you are part of the Donatella fan club, then dig in.