Monday, 13 June 2011

Allegra Versace - officially joining the family firm

Allegra looking well recently, showing the potentially healthy version of her we all hope will stay

It was announced in the Sunday Times today in an article by John Follain that Allegra Versace aged 24 who has battled anorexia and the heart break of tragically losing her beloved Uncle Gianni in 1997 will now be joining the family firm. She was left a 50% stake of the Versace brand by her Uncle in his will. This puts her in a very powerful position which up until now has been perceived as a burden to her. Her mother Donatella Versace controls 20% of the famous brand. Allegra found out about her Uncles murder watching a TV news bulletin when she was 11. At the time it sent shock waves through the world fashion community not dissimilar in impact to the unexpected suicide of Alexander McQueen. She recently told La Reppublica the Rome newspaper that " I lived in darkness for years I couldn’t remember anything of my life before that terrible day” Up to this time she had led a charmed and happy life where her Uncle had dotted on her and indulged her every whim. 

Allegra looking far too thin here with a companion last year who looks remarkably like her late Uncle Gianni

I have posted the better images I could find, many are not great as she is too thin, - her arms like match sticks - no light in her eyes at all.This is the terrible aspect of Anorexia - as it is a slow voluntary suicide unless treated and cured. Allegra was at St Martins college of Art in the same year as Christopher Kane whom her mother mentored and has been trying to woo over to working full time at the label ever since by allowing him to design small capsule collections. The rumour is that Kane will be taken on as Creative Director working with Allegra inorder to move the brand towards a modern classic Versace style, still sexy but less wagish. Giusi Fere, a friend of late Gianni said ' I think Allegra will try to give Versace a more modern style, she is less bling bling than her mother. Versace has become a bit outdated - the clothes are often aggressive and revealing. that's a bit 1980s' One just has to see the gorgeous dresses Allegra has been sporting to see what the brand has in mind. What the Sunday Times didn't mention is that Allegra was too ill when at St Martins to finish her fashion design MA with Louise Wilson. She has now started working in the design studio at Versace where she apparently is anxious not to be seen as above the other young designers there. She has also started paid work experience as a design assistant to an unnamed non Italian designer helping him with catwalk shows, advertising campaigns and designs.

Allegra ( still too thin) in an exquisite little black Versace dress last year
I wish her well in her new official role at Versace – let us hope that she can help turn the ailing fashion house’s fortunes round. This year 350 staff were laid off, about a quarter of the work force in order to get back in the black. The Versace brand epitomizes the Italian love of opulence and show – the trend now is for the more discreet and cerebral currently led by the likes of Marc Jacobs and Prada where art, intellect and fashion combine  – Working with Christopher Kane Allegra’s youth and fortitude in adversity as well her fashion pedigree will give her just the right outlook and open mindedness for the job.