Gianni Versace was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy, on December 2 ,1946. After an apprenticeship at his mother's dressmaking business, he began working as a freelance designer. At age 25 Versace was creating prêt-à-porter collections for top fashion houses of that time including Genny, Complice and Callaghan. In 1978, with the help of his brother Santo, he founded the Gianni Versace company. Later that year the first Gianni Versace collection for women was shown in Milan. Gianni Versace died on July 15, 1997 in Miami, Florida.