The designer recalled meeting the late Hollywood icon, who was known for expecting gifts from her admirers.
But the fashion icon explained she didn’t expect for the Cleopatra star to take her ring, a present from her late brother Gianni.
“My brother collected vintage jewelry and I was wearing a ring that he’d given me – Elizabeth said in this extraordinary breathy voice, ‘Darling I love your ring, may I try it?’ And she didn’t give it back! She put it on and breathed, ‘Oh darling thank you, you didn’t have to do that!’ But I hadn’t!” she said during a live interview at Oxford University in the UK.
Donatella also opened up about the difficult time she experienced following her sibling’s death.
The original founder of the fashion house, Gianni was shot outside his Miami mansion in July 1997 at the age of 50.
Donatella became the new head of design and admitted it was difficult to step out from the iconic fashion star’s shadow. It was the recent collaboration with high street giant H&M that convinced her the brand is well and truly back on track.
“After my brother’s terrible death, all the iconography was like a sanctuary, so special, it felt untouchable. I had to find my own voice. It was only after his death that I realized how difficult the job was. With him it had been exciting and easy but all of a sudden it was completely different. For a while we all moved away from the bling we were famous for – it was too sexy, not in line with the general mood – but now, certainly in 2012, it’s back; people are having fun with fashion again, so I had to find the courage to look at the past in a new perspective,” she said.
“The collaboration with H&M gave me such self-esteem because we saw this amazing appetite for the brand. H&M is a fantastic, incredible company – I had no idea how they’d make my designs come to life at those prices, but they did it without restricting me at all.”