Founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace, luxury fashion brand Versace has remained relevant and prestigious to this day. The success was interrupted in 1997 when tragedy struck the Versace family. Gianni, the founder and designer of the company, was the victim of an assassination that is still being investigated today. At just the age of 50, in front of his own home, the luxurious Casa Casuarina residence, he was murdered by Andrew Cunanan, an American serial killer who was responsible for the deaths of five people.
Gianni was in his prime, dressing some of the biggest names of his generation, including Princess Diana, Elton John, and Eric Clapton. He left behind a legacy in the fashion world. But he also left behind the apple of his eye; his niece Allegra.
Allegra is the daughter of the renowned Donatella Versace, who is the sister of Gianni and current vice president of the company. Upon the death of her uncle, Allegra inherited 50% of Versace’s entire stock. At the time, she was just nine years of age, and the money meant nothing to her. She has always been shy and has hidden from the lights, camera, and action.
Rarely seen in public, she has always been very private, as well as suffering from anorexia and debilitating anxiety. A former colleague of hers told NewsCorp: “If Allegra sees her own photos or sees herself on TV, she loses her mind. She’s got body dysmorphic disorder. They say she has a job with the company, but she’s not really running anything at Versace.”
Considering her inheritance and given responsibility, it’s been said that she is typically absent from her office, and instead stays home binging on television and music. She has been described as ‘utterly insecure, frail, and never a contender for design’. This comes as no surprise to those who know her best. Growing up, she was known for being more on the serious end; a very intelligent girl who always had her nose in a book.
Although she was more reserved, she didn’t shy away from the performing arts, having been involved in ballet for nine years. When it came to going to school, she was always dressed in high fashion and was even sent home at times for being too properly dressed for arts and crafts. She didn’t have a typical upbringing, surrounded by luxury and fame, but she was granted a childhood that any child deserves, which her uncle Gianni ensured. Together, they were inseparable.
Upon the sudden death of her uncle, the tragedy certainly took its toll on young Allegra. She immediately sought counseling, and Donatella described her daughter as ‘destroyed’ by the passing. As time had gone on, and the pictures came rolling, photographers had been exposed to the very thinning young girl that was seemingly evaporating before their eyes.
With the media and people worldwide noticing, the family released a statement to the media through their spokesman Robert Zimmerman. “Our daughter Allegra has been battling anorexia, a very serious disease, for many years. She is receiving the best medical care possible to help overcome this illness and is responding well.”
Attempting to live a normal life, she attended school in the United States, where she enjoyed studying theatre, however, everywhere she went, she was still known as Versace. She said she couldn’t escape it, and it did her harm. Her mother’s protective nature didn’t make it any easier on her. Although she got many privileges, she was not allowed to drive a car by any means.
This wasn’t much of a bother to her, unlike the troubles that ensued with her mother’s addiction to cocaine. It reached the extent of Elton John initiating an intervention for her at Allegra’s 18th birthday party. For a girl who tried to remain sheltered, the constant buzz around her and her family certainly didn’t help as she grew up.
Today, she still does her part to stay away from the media and people at all costs. Allegra gave up her dream of acting due to her apparent hate for Los Angeles, and instead involved herself as a dresser for a family friend’s Broadway set. Furthermore, she has begun selling her properties, including the two she inherited from her uncle Gianni.
Regarding her romantic life, a former colleague of Allegra told the New York Post: “I’ve never seen her with a man or a woman. She’s either alone or only with members of her family.” It is believed that she’s still stunted in her childhood and is unlikely to function as an adult, which is the tragic outcome that her uncle’s passing had on her, along with the circumstances she was forced to live through for all these years.
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