Donatella Versace was most recently in the news after Giancarlo di Risio stepped down as the CEO of Versace, but more positive news about the fashion house has recently surfaced.
At the Spring/Summer 2010 Versace men’s runway show, Versace hosted the Fashion Fringe finalists. The Italian designer is the Honorary chairperson of Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden 2009, and the invited finalists included Elliot Atkinson, Yelena Smirnova, LD.DA’s Dejan Agatonovic, Lidija Danilovic, and Go Tell Them’s Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis. The young designers’ attendance is part of a mentoring program intended to support their promising careers.
Besides taking part in the show, the finalists went to the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana party, held at the Royal Palace of Milan, and had a private tour of the Versace Atelier. The finalists will show their respective collections during London Fashion Week this coming September. There they will be judged by Donatella Versace Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massanet, Jimmy Choo’s Joshua Schulman, Selfridges’ Anne Pitcher, Antoni and Alison’s Antoni Burakowski, Grazia‘s Paula Reed, and London College of Fashion’s Roy Peach, among others. The winner will receive £100,000 worth of funding and the chance to show their first full collection at London Fashion Week in February 2010.
That’s not all Versace’s been up to. The house will, for the second time, sponsor the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Gala and Studio Party later this year. In addition, Versace will provide canvases and art supplies to 500 children from the Starlight Children’s Foundation in the United States and to 900 children from Jet Li’s One Foundation in China. The results of the childrens’ creations will be turned into a canvas tote which will be sold at Versace boutiques around the world, through the e-commerce site Gilt Groupe. The tote will retail from $200 to $250, and all proceeds will go to Starlight and the One Foundation.
The initiative will kick off on July 1st with an event at the Whitney Museum.