Today, Stream Publishing and Attitude, Europe’s biggest gay lifestyle magazine, share their first cover of 2019 – fashion icon Donatella Versace in conversation with Jodie Harsh.
In an exclusive interview and photoshoot, the magazine joins Versace to discuss a range of issues – notably her experience of growing up with Gianni Versace alongside members of the LGBTQ+ community and how it shaped her vision for the label – including the need to burst the ‘fashion bubble’ by championing inclusivity and diversity. Elsewhere, the duo discusses politics (Donald Trump), Lady Gaga, the upcoming Met Gala and its theme ‘Camp: Notes on Fashion’.
At the moment, I’m at peace with myself and I don’t give a shit what people think. So I want to speak loud, I want people to listen to me, to not agree with me, it doesn’t matter, but I need to say what I think – as long as there’s a conversation. But also because the political environment we are living in is very, very dangerous. It’s scary, it cannot go on like this.
On the upcoming Met Gala:
“I’m so excited. (Camp) means giving all your imagination, being who you’d like to be in a fantasy, it means freedom – the freedom of creativity. I was thinking only yesterday about this [being pictured on the Metropolitan Museum steps]. I’m currently doing the couture collection, I said: “Let’s be camp guys!” and my team were like “What? This is couture.” So it’s camp couture. But if you do camp cheap, it doesn’t work.”
On Gaga and the song ‘Donatella’:
“I adore her. The song arrived quite a while after we first knew each other. Gaga is a very emotional person, she’s very insecure, which I like about her. Every true artist is insecure. We’ve become good friends and we talk so much. I’m so happy about the movie. A Star Is Born. I went to the premiere with her and she was crying. I said, “Enough of this crying. Smile, you’ve made it.” I hope she wins an Oscar.”
On the ideal Versace customer and diversity:
“It’s inclusivity. It’s gender-free. For example, for the campaign this season we hired such a diverse array of people. It was Bella Hadid, gay models, transgender models, a gender-free person. It was everybody, everything. [Diversity] is natural to me, not only because of my brother being gay but also because I think people are entitled to be what they are and entitled to be respected for who they are. If they don’t commit crimes, don’t do anything bad to other people, they should be respected.”
On growing up amongst the gay community:
“Yes, [I was always] around gay men. But not only gay men, but by artists, real artists: people who left a mark on history. I mean, I met Andy Warhol. I don’t think of him as just a gay person, these people are artists.”
I had the privilege through Gianni and through the gay community to meet intellectual people: to become accustomed, to be educated, to learn about the culture.
“I was a normal classical girl who went to school and studied history, which I loved as you can see in this house, but my mind was always a clash between this and what was around pop culture and high culture and history.”
The January 2019, which on sale from today (6th December), also features a double-cover with US actor Cheyenne Jackson.