The news does not seem to be beautiful for the Made in Italy: starting from last September, Gianni Versace Houte Coture is incorporated into another family of the luxury brand. It has lost its economic autonomy, even if Donatella Versace, co-founder of the company with the brothers Gianni and Santo, remains with the role of creative director. The Michael Kors Holdings, paying about two billion dollars, eliminated the Versace brand, represented by the renowned Medusa. A wrong choice? We explain to you why the original logo will not remain after the transfer to Kors.

Versace: the search for the right logo for the company

September 2018: Donatella Versace sells the fashion company founded in 1978 in Milan with the brothers Gianni and Santo, a symbol of luxury and Italian creativity in the world. The three had left a few years earlier from Calabria after a family apprenticeship at the maternal fashions house. The actual designer, among them was Gianni. In 1972, in fact, he worked as a freelancer in the Florentine Flowers collection. Put the talent to the test, the time has come to found a brand in its own right. As for all the startups that are respected, the three are looking for a brand that can not only represent the spirit and mission of the company, but that it was also so cool to become a real decorative form.


In 1980 Versace started with an essential and elegant company logo, with Avant Garde light character, without images. In the following ten years the Brand is on the rise, so in 1990 it is modified with the Radiant Medium character, more incisive. Since 1993 the emblematic image of the animated video production company has been adopted, landed in Haute Couture: the head of Medusa, created with Art Nouveau graphics and inscribed in a curved circular frame, like an ancient coin or a shield effigy, associated mythological symbol to success reached all over the world. The choice was not easy: the representations of the Medusa are many and some rather aggressive. One opts for the Medusa Rondanini, a marble head from the Augustan period copied from a Greek original, owned by King Ludwig of Bavaria, more beautiful and humanized than the myth.

The Versace logo: the choice of the Medusa and its meaning

The Versace logo of the Medusa head is brilliant for its ability to summarize a true philosophy of life and work. We reveal its meanings:

  • In the Greek myth, the beautiful Medusa seduces Poseidon in the temple of Athena, goddess of war, hiding her splendid hair behind her effigy. Discovered the make-up, Athena takes revenge by transforming Medusa’s hair into poisonous snakes and teeth into fangs: from that moment her gaze will petrify anyone who looks at her. Decapitated by the hero Perseus, Athena will sculpt the head of Medusa on her shield.
  • In another Greek myth the beautiful Medusa lives in the north without ever seeing the sun. Caught by curiosity, she asks Athena to accompany her on a journey to the heat of the south, but she refuses. Furious, Medusa blames the goddess of jealousy towards her beauty: by reaction Athena transforms her into a monster, whose gaze petrifies who looks at her.
  • In the Roman myth, Medusa is the bearer of fortune and guardian of the city: it is carved on the shields to win wars and on the doors of the houses next to the lion’s head, to protect them. The head of Medusa becomes for everyone a pendant added to luxurious bracelets and necklaces. Symbol of intelligent tactics, it is used by Roman generals to instill courage in times of distress and anger, in case of difficulty.

Summarizing: in the Versace logo are contained the Greek interpretations, associated with beauty and fascination, but also the Roman interpretation, associated with strength, intelligence and fashion. In addition, Gianni Versace, born in Magna Graecia and moving to Milan, wanted to pay homage to the sun and the civilizations of the Mediterranean, from which he has drawn his sumptuous and particular style. Finally, for Versace the moments of hardship experienced, despite the worldwide success, have been seen as enemies to be defeated: for this reason the head of Medusa has represented a lucky charm, as was used in ancient Rome.

The evolution of the logo after the death of Gianni Versace

After the death of Gianni Versace, the versus brand took off in 1997, connected to a line designed and produced by Donatella, who became the Brand’s creative director. In this case the Latin word, which means “against”, is associated with the image of the lion, a symbol that flanked the jellyfish for the ancient Romans. But the traditional logo is still celebrated by the exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1998 and in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2002, dedicated to the life and works of Gianni. After a rather long business crisis, in July 2009 the Versace Collection and Versace Jeans lines were born, in which the prêt-à-porter is produced. Even the logo is resized, shrinking the image and enlarging the writing.

Versace: will the original logo remain after the transfer to Kors?

Rule number one: a company logo changes every time it changes course. It is in fact a necessity connected to the survival of the Brand. But if the Medusa Versace will no longer exist, what will the logo be after the sale to the American designer, owner of Michael Kors Holdings? In this regard, there is already some indication. Looking at the fashion shows of September 26, 2018, is seen Donatella Versace and her models show off clothes, T-shirts and bags designer with the simple inscription Versace accompanied by the image of a leopard. Therefore Medusa’s head would seem to have disappeared altogether. But, to understand which logo an evolving company needs, you have to ask yourself where it’s going. The current objectives of the Versace in fact, are:

  • The expansion of the retail network with 200-300 openings
  • The acceleration of e-commerce
  • The creation of footwear and accessories

For his part, Michael Kors changed the name of the group to Capri Holdings, as the Italian island is considered an icon of glamor and luxury all over the world, declaring that the Faraglioni capresi will be the right symbol for the new logo. In short, you start all over again, as if it were a startup. All startups need a logo to start a path to success: if you need it, immediately seek a freelance that can help you!