Hello and please join me in wishing Happy Birthday to Donatella Versace, who was born this day way back in 1955. (My publicist expresses the date, 1955, like it was a million years ago, but in reality, she popped on the scene a few years later.)
Besides having a first name similar to one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, (Donatello was the one in the purple bandana – which was designed by a competitor of the Versace brand), Donatella has made quite a name for herself. In her late teens, she left her native Italy to follow her brother Gianni to France, where he was considering launching a knitwear collection.
Donatella’s intent was simply to work as his public relations manager. But Donatella’s brain was way ahead of the curve in this department. Instead of sending out press releases and having the Versace name emblazoned on cheap pens, she enlisted A-list celebs, such as Lil’ Kim, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Courtney Love, Christina Aguilera, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Demi Moore to not only wear her brother’s collection, but model them on the catwalk.Though celebs have been used in advertising since before forever, Donatella is the first to dress them up and send them down the catwalk.
Though none of them walks the walk like me – you should see me glide like a gazelle across the mantle that my publicist and MAD have cluttered with wooden ducks, candles and pictures of their kids. It’s like nobody’s business. Of course Madonna et al, are better dressed.
As Donatella catapulted (good word choice, don’t you think!) the Versace label from her brother’s vision to must-have of must-have collections, she never lost sight of others. She suffered some rather tragic events. LIke me, she lost a sister when they were both in their early 20s. That’s a pain that never heals. Gianni was murdered in 1997. So, life has dealt Donatella a few curve balls, which she hit out out of the park.
While still mourning her brother’s violent death, Donatella began planning the launch of bigger and better fashion shows in his name. She is active in Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, and she provides art supplies to children worldwide. She did not make any excuses or try to cover up her daughter’s anorexia diagnosis. Donatella dealt with it straight on, while supporting her daughter emotionally.
Donatella is also very supportive to up and coming celebs. She’s also no phony (we’ll get to the plastic surgery in a bit). When asked why she stopped working with a personal trainer, she replied because they would not let her smoke. You have to love an answer as candid as that. so Donatella appears to very grounded, which is a quality I always like in a person.
So, the plastic surgery. My publicist and I are guessing she’s not a natural blonde, especially now at 58. The face, well, Donatella admits to Botox and other enhancement surgeries. She said she was not “genetically” made this way. Really? Cosmetic surgery is not for me, I’m perfect, though I think my publicist should consider asking Donatella who her surgeon is. That skin under her chin is not getting any firmer.