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2012 October 24

Donatella Versace on Supermods, Rap, and Her Next Career Move

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Donatella Versace Donatella Versace
Patrick McMullan
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(NEW YORK) Donatella Versace and her Versus sidekick Christopher Kane flew into the Big Apple today to launch Versace's new concept store in Soho at 160 Mercer Street amidst a gaggle of bloggers and a tipple or two of mimosas. We caught up with the design doyenne to talk about the essentials: supermodels, Soho, and rap. BY MARIA DENARDO

Love the concept store!
It feels great. I love to be in Soho--it's my dream. Every time I come to New York, I come to Soho. When I first came here, it wasn't like how it is today. But there's always something different, which is nice. I like the attitude, the people, and how they dress--not everyone, but some of them.

What's your favorite part of the boutique?
Right here [pointing to the center of the store with slabs of plexiglass above and an antique mosaic below]. I like the combination of the modern plexiglass and the gold with the antique mosaic--a great way to show the heritage of the brand and the future. I think it's who I am today. Maybe we should put my face in the center!

What was your greatest challenge opening up the new store?
Mixing downtown with uptown. But we have t-shirts, embroidered stuff, jeans. The flashy, and also the simple stuff. As long as you're not too simple, buy everything.

Where do you stay when you're in New York?
I have a very private, but nice suite at the Waldorf Astoria, but I want to move to Soho in the next year. 

What's your creative process like with Christopher Kane?
Donatella: We fight! No, I'm kidding.
Christopher Kane: We never fight.
Donatella: I think he's afraid of my heels. 

Musicians love Versace. What kind of music do you listen to?
I like rock 'n' roll and pop music. I love Grimes, and Beth Ditto. I like to listen to music very loudly.

Do you like rap?
Of course! My brother worked with Jay-Z. I don't understand selfish people who don't like rap. What do you mean? It's the only new thing today. 

Tell us about Lady Gaga!
What is there to tell? She's fabulous, fearless, and she dares. She continuously works--never stops. It was so easy to talk to her. She gets everything.

What's sexy to you?
When people look at you. It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. When eyes are on you, it's sexy. And I think men are sexy when they don't even know it. 

How do you stay sexy?
I tell people I sleep in the freezer! No, I grew up with my brother, so I have a very glamorous idea of women. To me, I don't know anything else. I don't know. Am I sexy...?

Do you tweet or go on Facebook?
I don't tweet. If there's a profile on Facebook, it's not me. I don't have time to follow people [on Twitter]. Twitter is amazing, but it's also a way to hide yourself when you don't have the courage to look someone in the eye and tell them what you feel.

What's the biggest thing in fashion right now?
Donatella: This kind of contamination [pointing to Christopher Kane].
Christopher Kane: Contamination?!
Donatella: Ha! Yes, this kind of virus. I'm kidding. I like to work with young designers, because it gives a different vision when we talk. 

Are you celebrating Halloween?
No, I'm very Italian. [New Year's Eve] drives me crazy, too. It's like you have to do something. It's not natural. I never have fun on New Year's, because I have to do it.

Any future aspirations?
I want to sing. No, I want to rap! I'm not joking. I'm not crazy! There are all these rock stars who want to do fashion, so I'm going to sing. Really, I can't sing--too many cigarettes.

What's your favorite Versace moment?
The start of the supermodel. I was obsessed. It's never going to happen again, but it was the most fabulous time. It was amazing to work with Naomi [Campbell] and Linda [Evangelista]. It was real competition. Fierce. We had so much drama!




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