Donatella Versace ‘nervous’ about show venue

The designer’s company made a return to couture early this year, but the July 1 runway presentation is still weighing heavily on her. The show will take place at the Ritz Paris hotel – the venue where her late brother Gianni showed his last couture line in 1997. Donatella was there and it was the final time she saw her brother alive.

“It was a moment of my life that I had a hard time remembering, I couldn’t face the past with ease,” she told WWD.

“I could not think of the last time I saw Gianni, in the lobby of the Ritz, two days before he died. I went back over the years, but I was in a cloud, I did not really realise it. It’s very important for me to face this. I’m afraid, my nerves are shot, yet I’m excited, but I can do it for me and for Gianni. This is a collection I think he would really like – it’s very rich.”

Gianni was murdered in Miami, on the steps of his mansion. Donatella is usually reticent to discuss her sibling but did say she finally feels at ease helming the fashion label.

“I never compared myself to Gianni,” she said. “He was a genius, how could I even think of comparing myself to him? But others did. I have my own voice, and for the past two years I have no longer been in fear. I am happy with what I am doing, I believe in it.”

Donatella also slammed rumors she is considering selling the company. It’s not something she can ever see herself doing.

“I have absolutely no intention to sell,” she asserted. “I’m holding on to this company with my nails and we want to be independent… Yes, it would be easy to sell, but it’s not an idea.

“Gianni created such a famous brand in the world; it has an enormous prestige – why sell it?”