Giorgio Armani remembers 'creative' Gianni Versace

He spoke about his rivalry with the late designer, who was shot dead in 1997

Giorgio Armani has praised Gianni Versace for being a “great creator”.

Gianni was shot dead outside his Miami mansion in 1997, when he was 50. A biography about him which was penned by journalist Tony di Corcia and released in 2010 is now hitting shelves again, this time including a forward by Giorgio.

“Fifteen years after his death, what I remember of Gianni Versace? His incredible exuberance, a sense of happiness that mixes everything - ideas, trends, memories, art - with a sort of nonchalant vitality. He was a great creator,” Giorgio writes.

The two men weren’t that close while Gianni was alive, but Giorgio was always interested in what his fellow designer was up to.

In the preface he talks of a kind of unspoken rivalry which existed between them both, as they were each trying to push their fashion houses forward at the same time.

“The Italian mentality feeds on contradictions: from [bike aces] Coppi/Bartali to Gina Lollobrigida/Sophia Loren. Armani and Versace were perfect for this game,” Giorgio writes, according to WWD.

“But to be honest we didn’t know each other very well, being so absorbed in our work […] even if we would have never admitted that, we were curious about each other and at the end of each show we used to ask, ‘What did Versace do?’ and, ‘What did Armani do?’”

Giorgio started his Armani label in 1975, with Gianni launching Versace three years later. - COVER MEDIA