Young Versace - Like mother like daughter

First it was Cindy (Crawford), now we have Kaia (Gerber). Mother and daughter continue to bond, this time on the catwalk. All thanks to Donatella (Versace), a woman who lets her heart rule her decision-making… especially when it comes to her models. 

Kaia Gerber is still young… but at ten years of age, she is already beautiful.   She is very like her mother, having inherited Cindy’s thick, dark hair, long legs and most importantly, her warm, friendly smile that appears spontaneously and seems completely unaffected. She doesn’t have the trademark mole of her famous mum, 90s runway superstar Cindy Crawford, but everything else is there. Including her mother’s confidence in front of the camera.  

Donatella Versace picked her as the face of the new Young Versace campaign, the label’s collection just for boys and girls aged 0 to 12 years, shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott. 

The range brings rock ’n’ roll attitude to quintessential Versace style, featuring playful prints, bold colours and a mix of iconic Versace patterns including the Medusa head and fret motifs; it can be found in the quirky Young Versace boutique in Milan or in selected multi-brand stores specialising in kids fashion around the world. 

Anxious mum Cindy was also on set with Kaia, Donatella and the rest of the troupe. 

“Yes, I am really thrilled,” the supermodel confessed. “I have very fond memories of the times I spent with Donatella and Gianni. We worked with some of the world’s greatest photographers in the most magical and special of atmospheres. To be back on set with my daughter, with that same unmistakeable pleasure and watching her in front of the camera, was a fantastic experience.”

The collection launched at a dedicated event in Florence’s Palazzo Corsini during last year’s international children’s wear exhibition Pitti Immagine Bimbo: it was a party in true Versace style, set against the sumptuous late Baroque rooms, statues, stucco work, marble and antique candelabra. It was also a party to make a statement, something that was very important to Donatella and that the market was by now crying out for. 

We spoke to Donatella herself, the label’s creative director, to find out what inspired this move and what she was like as a child. We discovered that clothes have always played an important role in her family. 

Why and when did you get the idea to design a children’s range?

I felt I needed to complete the Versace world. We didn’t have a children’s range, so I created Young Versace.

How would you describe it?

It’s a collection designed especially for children, with a touch of glamour and rock ’n’ roll, in true Versace style.

Why did you choose Kaia Gerber in particular as the face of the campaign?
Because like her mother, Kaia has a very special gift: the camera really, really loves her. It was such a special treat watching Kaia pose and having Cindy back on set. So many memories!

What were your main focuses when you worked on this range?
It was all about making the clothes practical and comfortable; I wanted a good fit but I also thought a lot about the fabrics, which are soft and natural, because children’s skin is a lot more sensitive than an adult’s. 

What does Young Versace have in common with the grown-up collection, and where does it differ?
They share the same creativity, the same positive take on life and definitively some of the prints. Our signature adult ranges have a sex appeal though that we obviously didn’t carry over to the kid’s wear.

Where are your key markets?

China, Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe but also Europe, UK and Italy in particular. 

Do have any special childhood memories?
The clear, turquoise blue of the sea in Calabria. I carry that with me all the time.

How did you used to dress as a child, and how important were clothes to you?

I was pretty much like any other child at my age. The only difference was that I had tailor-made clothes because my mum was a dressmaker.

What was your favourite toy?
Barbie dolls. I used to change their clothes constantly. I had so many.

Your favourite book as a child?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I read it again as an adult. The magic is still there!

Holidays?

In Calabria again. Always by the seaside. I spent all my summers there; the long, long summers you have as a child.

Are you living the life you dreamed of as a child?

As a child, I could never have imagined such an exciting life, so full of satisfaction and gratification! Obviously, it comes with a lot of responsibility but that’s just part of the job. And I like the responsibility.

 

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