May 3, 2023
By: Brandon Lau
Gianni Versace started the design house that would come to be Versace in 1978. Over the design house's history, it would receive several branding changes with according logos to match. Initially, the brand was named "Gianni Versace," named directly from its founder. Several font changes were made in 1980 and 1990, respectively, predominantly due to consumers' changing design preferences.
Gianni's talent for design and an eye for trends made Versace one of the forefront design houses in the industry. Gianni's connections within the music and film industries helped propel the brand into the spotlight.
Versace was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace and has been focused on premium clothing and luxury items with a focus on Italian design ques. Throughout this article, we will be looking at the Versace logo meaning, along with the development and history of the design.
Who made the Versace logo? Gianni Versace was responsible for designing the Versace Logo. It was in 1993 when he came up with the idea of having the Medusa's head as the main focus of the logo. Let's dive into the Versace logo history and its beautiful evolution.
While the Versace brand started in 1978, Gianni did not release a logo for the company until 1980, at the time only featuring the name Gianni Versace. During this time, the brand (then named Gianni Versace) released their first full collection, Haute Couture, in 1989.
It was not until 1993, over a decade after the first logo was debuted, that the now famed Medusa's head was introduced as a staple of the brand.
The selection of the Gorgon Medusa is one that drew many questions. However, the choice of such a notable emblem doubtlessly assisted in the propulsion of the brand to international acclaim.
In 1997 Versace underwent yet another logo change, finally dropping the Gianni portion of the name, officially taking on the famed name Versace. The Medusa's head was kept from the 1993 logo change. However, the font was changed to be a bold font to match the brand's new name and look.
Tragically, in 1997, tragedy struck both Versace as a brand and Gianni Versace personally. On July 15, 1997, Gianni was shot and killed outside his Miami home by Andrew Cunnan.
Conspiracy and questions surround the motive of Cunnan along with the connection between him and Versace. However, Cunnan was obsessed with Gianni Versace.
After Gianni's premature death, the brand was taken over by his two siblings, Donatella and Santo Versace.
Santo became the new CEO while Donatella became the brand's new creative director. During this time, the brand declined in popularity, and profits soon followed, resulting in CEOs' rotation over several years. Ultimately, all CEO's who departed the Gianni Versace company cites disagreements between them and the Versace family as the reason for departure.
In 2008, Versace underwent yet another logo change, switching the layout of the logo, now with the "Versace" name on top, with the Medusa head emblem below, inverted from previous iterations.
This would be the most recent change to the Versace symbol (as of the publication of this article). However, the colouring and layout would continue to vary from product to product.
The Versace logo is the head of Medusa, a Greek mythological figure. The logo came from the floor of ruins in the area of Reggio Calabria that the Versace siblings played in as children.
Gianni Versace chose Medusa as the logo because she made people fall in love with her and they had no way back.
The origin of the Medusa image in Greek mythology, Medusa is a monster created by the Goddess Athena. The Versace symbol meaning dives into Greek mythology, which involves Medusa, also called Gorgo, was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Those who gazed into her eyes would turn to stone.
Supposedly, Gianni wanted the meaning of Versace logo to emulate the shock and beauty that one feels when seeing Medusa's head for the first time.
While others have made additional parallels between the mythology of Medusa and the Versace brand, Versace themselves have given little backstory regarding the origin of the emblem.
Some have highlighted the irony behind using Medusa's head in the logo of a fashion house, as the myth of Medusa serves as a warning against vanity and lust, with some connecting "fashion" as a genre with those character traits.
Versace would move to diversify their offerings, including the release of Versace editions of Lamborghini cars and AgustaWestland helicopters. They also partnered with investors to launch a series of Versace Palazzo hotels. All these offshoots of the primary Versace design house would carry on the Versace logo meaning and Medusa emblem, furthering the design's popularity.
Initially, the design for the Versace symbol dictated the emblem be black with a white background, however, the logo changes colour with a notable frequency between product lines, showing up as colour matched with clothing, or as silver or gold on jewelry and other accessories. While traditionally inadvisable for a brand, this trait could be regarded as a testament to the logo retention of the Medusa emblem.
The brand has often been described as the "rock and roll designer," referencing its extensive roster of celebrity clientele. These customers often flaunted their latest purchases on the red carpet, on social media, and in music videos, propelling the Medusa Head logo into a level of a cultural phenom.
The brand has fully embraced the Versace symbol meaning as part of the Versace brand identity, encouraging designs that evoke emotion similar to those found when confronted by Medusa. They welcome the paradoxical nature of the character, boasting indescribable beauty while radiating a (literally) petrifying fear.
At the same time, the Versace symbol emanates simplicity. It is styled with inspiration from ancient greek design, invoking a timeless and graceful design similar to the garments worn by those featured in Greek mythology.
The storied and intricate past of the Versace brand (and by extension, their logo) details an inspired artist who was able to leverage a brand to become an international fashion and design icon.
The growth of the brand beyond Gianni Versace is a testament to the resilience of the Versace brand identity. Donatella Versace said her brother's reasoning for using Medusa's head was "whoever falls in love with Medusa can't flee from her," and it is clear that today many have fallen for the brand.
The Versace logo ranks high on the list of the world's most recognizable logos. Medusa's head, depicted as a lovely woman with flowing hair and remarkable features, serves as the piece's focal figure.
The Greek mythological Gorgon was chosen as Gianni Versace's logo because of the legendary fashion designer's admiration for the alluring creature. Anyone who glanced at her could not take their eyes off of her.
But could the famous design be reimagined?
Design similar versions of the Versace logo below and take them home for free!
Thanks to a few subtle tweaks, we now have not one but two Versace logo variations to take inspiration from.
1. In 2000, Donatella Versace sent Jennifer Lopez a dress for her appearance at the Grammy Awards, the dress received such a huge media coverage that Google registered the user behavior as a sign to introduce the ‘Google image’ as an option when people search for something visually and find the desired pictures.
2. Versace is the main line that is often seen on the runway, whereas Versace Collection is a licenced diffusion line that only includes specific elements of the Gianni Versace brand with a younger and quirkier spin. What’s more, Versace Collection uses less expensive materials so it’s generally more affordable.
3. Before being murdered, Versace presented his final collection at the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Fifteen years after his death, Donatella hosted a fashion show at the Ritz Hotel in honour of her brother before the hotel closed for renovations.
4. It won't be a lie to say that Versace created supermodels by paying them enormous amounts of money for each fashion show. It is a popular fact that Gianni Versace was a close friend with many celebrities and royalties, including Princess Diana, Elton John, Cher, Michael Jackson and Madonna.
5. No matter how surprising it may be for a person that runs a world-wide fashion empire, Donatella Versace cannot sew and has never made a garment on her own.