On this day in 1997 the Italian fashion designer Giovanni Versace was shot and killed outside his Miami Beach mansion by Andrew Cunanan. Here are five things you didn't know about Versace...
Gianni Versace's Death Was One of Several in a Killing Spree Andrew Cunanan, the man who killed Gianni Versace, had already killed a few people and was wanted by the FBI. In fact, a worker recognized Cunanan when he made it to Florida, and that worker tried to contact the FBI, but agents were unable to reach the area until after Cunanan had left. Versace's death boosted the search simply because of how high profile Versace was.
The Motive Behind Gianni Versace's Murder Is Still Unknown Even now, no one knows why Cunanan shot Gianni Versace. Theories have ranged from Cunanan trying to kill gay men in general to odd revenge theories. It's generally accepted that Versace and Cunanan did not know each other. Cunanan left no note before he killed himself, and there appeared to be no obvious reason why he was even at Versace's home. While some of the people murdered by Cunanan appeared to be old acquaintances or people unlucky enough to have vehicles that Cunanan wanted as getaway cars, Versace's death stands out as inexplicable.
We Wouldn't Have Supermodels if It Hadn't Been for Versace Gianni Versace's death shocked a vast swathe of the public. The Versace fashion house's influence on the world of fashion can't be overstated. Versace was the first brand to really promote specific models and present them as living this glamorous life; without Versace's influence, the "supermodel" would not exist, and several famous names likely wouldn't be as famous, even if they had still been successful as models.
The Versace Family Inspired Google's Image Search Function Google created its image search engine in response to the brouhaha surrounding the infamous dress that Jennifer Lopez wore to the 2000 Grammys. This was the diaphanous green dress with the neckline that more than plunged (and oddly, it turned out that the dress was a mistake; Lopez was supposed to receive a different dress). The fashion house that sent that dress? Versace. Had they not sent the wrong dress, or had Lopez declined to wear it, Google could have looked very different in the years after those Grammys.
Fifty Percent of the Versace Fashion House Went to Donatella Versace's Daughter After Gianni Versace died, his sister Donatella took over the fashion house. But her leadership was actually a temporary measure. Gianni had left much of the house to Donatella's daughter, and Donatella led the house simply because, at the time, her daughter was only 11 years old.