When Gianni Versace launched Versace Home in the early ’90s, he wanted to offer everyone the possibility to live in a Versace world. Now, the Versace Home 2018 collection, as told by Donatella Versace herself, celebrates the family spirit inspired by her own growing up years.

1. How did your home look like growing up, and what are the fondest memories you have of it? Has it in any way influenced your take on interior design?

It was a very crowded home. You know, we are from the south of Italy, for us home is the place where your loved ones gather. For coffee time, for dinners, or for the never-ending Sunday lunch… My home was always full of friends and relatives. It’s in our DNA!

I do remember the laughs until late at night, the animated debates… you know, home is a place where you can be yourself, you can let yourself go and express yourself, and at the same time listen to other people’s points of view. It’s this exchange of ideas that makes you grow. You learn to question yourself without forgetting where you come from. I try to translate this approach in everything I do, even at work and with the interior design process.

We at Versace never forget our heritage, our DNA, but at the same time we try to re-elaborate it, to push forward those traditions with the eyes of today, for the new customers. Plus, I must say that this Versace Home collection is a celebration of the family spirit, of the concept of home; most of the pieces are inspired by our Palazzo Versace in Milan, because at the end, home is where the family is.

Also read: Home Inspirations: A Glamorous House Inspired By Italian Style

2. Do you remember what were the first influences that have led you to this creative journey?

It was the places where we used to live, travel to and admire. The Medusa head, symbol of Versace, for example comes from a villa where my brother and I used to play as kids. All that surrounds me is inspiration; I travel, I look through Instagram and I get inspired by places as well as people’s lives.

Related: Follow These Asian Artists On Instagram For Daily Design Inspiration

3. What are the greatest challenges you have faced throughout the years?

The biggest challenge has perhaps been to keep this brand alive and relevant. It is not easy to keep up with a brand DNA while still making it appeal to the new generations. What has always helped me is perhaps my interest in the contemporary world as well as the fact that I have always surrounded myself with young, creative people who have been able to bring the outside world into the Versace maison, and having a fresh look on things—the same then goes for the Home Collection. Gianni was, in my opinion, the first fashion designer to understand the true value of a lifestyle brand by introducing the Home Collection, for the very first time in a fashion house portfolio. However, it has been challenging to develop the line and to make it innovative, elegant while at the same time, staying true to the Versace DNA and roots. 

Has the rise of technology changed the way you view and approach design?

Technology has given a new impulse to the way we gather inspirations, and to the way we communicate with customers. We have the greatest chance to find out what they like, what they want, as well as get inspired in creating new offerings each day. It has shortened our distance with the audience and consumers worldwide, and it has helped the maison to establish a more personal relation with them. Personally, technology and Instagram specifically, has helped me show the world the real me. People used to have an image that wasn’t quite right: one of a cold, distant woman. I am happy to say that now more people are getting to know my softer side, and finding out that I am fun after all!

4. Any advice for those who are planning to furnish their homes?

Be creative and follow your personal taste, your house should reflect who you are. Mix styles, never go fully minimalist, or maximalist on the opposite, that’s so boring! And don’t forget to add a touch of Versace, even if it’s just a silk printed cushion, or a piece of porcelain.

Read next: 10 Stylish Pieces That Deserve a Place In Any Fashion-Forward Home

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