Donatella Versace Receives Recognition From Italy’s President

The famous designer was honored for her contribution to Italian fashion and culture as well as her humanitarian work.

Last week, Donatella Versace was awarded with Italy’s highest-ranking honor. She received the title of Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for her contribution to Italian fashion and culture as well as her humanitarian work.

Bestowed by Italy’s president, the order of merit was established in 1951. The investiture takes place twice a year, with Versace’s coinciding with the anniversary of the foundation of the republic.

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Donatella Versace receiving the order of merit
Donatella Versace receiving the order of merit | Image via Instagram @donatella_versace

“I am hugely honoured to be receiving this award from The President of Italy,” Versace wrote. “It is a recognition not just for me but for the company we founded over four decades ago, for my fantastic team and for the global Versace community who champion ‘Made in Italy’ every single day.”

As the ceremony was held a day before Pride Month, the designer did not forget to champion “minority voices, freedom of expression and inclusivity both here in Italy and globally.”

“Tolerance, understanding and unconditional love has never been more important in our world,” she added.

On June 2, Versace met with President Sergio Mattarella in Rome, attending Italy’s Republic Day celebrations. “Long live democratic Italy, long live the Constitution, long live freedom,” she wrote in Italian.

Donatella Versace with the Italian president
Donatella Versace with the Italian president | Image via Instagram @donatella_versace

A Woman of Culture

“I knew I was going to work in fashion; I really didn’t think of nothing else,” Versace told New York Magazine back in 2006. By 1978, she and her brothers Santo and Gianni had already established the Versace brand.

Still in her early 20s, she was employed as the company’s vice president. She and Gianni were creative partners, establishing the Versace image and designing pieces for the brand together.

Since then, she’s become an important figure in fashion, from mounting her first solo haute couture show in 1998 to working with A-list celebrities such as Madonna, Demi Moore, Beyoncé, and many more.

Philanthropic Efforts

Versace has been vocal about her support for the LGBTQ+ community for a long time. During past Pride Months, she has released capsule collections where the sales went to charities championing equality and inclusivity.

The designer was named Global Ambassador of the Los Angeles LGBT Center
The designer was named Global Ambassador of the Los Angeles LGBT Center | Image via Instagram @donatella_versace

For Pride 2022, the capsule collection was created in collaboration with Cher. Dubbed “Chersace,” the collection featured t-shirts, socks, and baseball caps with a rainbow version of Versace’s Medusa logo.

Proceeds from the limited collection went to Gender Spectrum, a charity which directly assists those within the LGBTQ+ community.

Last year, the designer joined forces with Elton John to raise funds for his AIDS Foundation. Launching the Rocket Fund, the foundation aimed to raise $125 million and use the funds to support projects striving to eradicate AIDS by 2030.

Versace was named co-chair of the initiative, committing to a five-year partnership with the fundraising campaign. “As Chief Creative Officer of Versace, I take immense pride in advocating for inclusivity and fairness,” the designer stated.

Banner image via Instagram @donatella_versace.

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