Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Why was Gianni Versace Murdered?

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Investigators still don’t know why Andrew Cunanan killed Gianni Versace.
On July 15, 1997, Cunanan approached the famed Italian designer as he returned to his Miami Beach mansion after a morning trip to a ersace twice in the back of the head, according to FBI records.
At the time , Madonna and Elton John. His murder, which shocked the nation, is the focus of FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
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What is known about Cunanan and Versace is that the fashion mogul was not Cunanan’s first victim. Cunanan was a serial killer, suspected in four other deaths. He was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, the subject of a national manhunt, and was hiding out in Miami Beach’s gay scene at the time he killed Versace.
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Authorities believe Cunanan’s killing spree before Versace targeted ex-lovers, including some he may have believed may have given him HIV.
Hours after Versace’s shooting death, authorities identified Andrew Cunanan as the prime suspect. The 27-year-old was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, suspected in the killings of four other people in Minnesota, Illinois and New Jersey. The FBI painted Cunanan as a highly intelligent and dangerous man who desired a life of luxury. The California native, who could speak two languages, dropped out of college and funded his lifestyle thanks to relationships with older, wealthier gay men, federal investigations found. The FBI believes that in addition to working odd jobs, Cunanan was a prostitute.
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Twenty years after the murder, Cunanan’s motive is still unclear. Cunanan and Versace did not know each other, according to People, although they may have briefly met prior to the killing. Federal investigators believed Cunanan may have been targeting gay men. Versace had a longtime boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico. The FBI believed Cunanan may have been seeking revenge on former lovers or clients who may have given him HIV, records show.
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The investigation into Versace’s murder ended July 23, 1997 — eight days after the designer’s death — when Cunanan apparently shot himself to death on a boat house, about two miles away from Versace’s house in Miami Beach. The suicide ended the high-profile manhunt that followed the global news coverage of Versace’s murder.
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The Versace Killer: Andrew Cunanan

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Following the overwhelming success of The People v. O.J. Simpson in 2016, FX's American Crime Story has returned for a second season, this time centered around the brutal murder of renowned designer Gianni Versace. The Italian fashion visionary was shot and killed on the front steps of his Miami Beach mansion by 27-year-old serial killer Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997.
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American Crime Story's second season focuses not only on Versace's assassination, but also on the criminal investigation following his death and the events that led his killer, Andrew Cunanan, to pull the trigger. (Glee star Darren Criss portrays Cunanan in the series, and it turns out, he's a spitting image of the killer.)
1. Cunanan died by suicide, shooting himself with the same gun he used to kill Versace.
Eight days after Versace's murder, Cunanan's body was found in a second-floor bedroom of a houseboat anchored off Collins Avenue, just three miles north of Versace's Miami Beach mansion. A caretaker, who had heard a gunshot while checking in on the seemingly unoccupied houseboat, immediately notified police. A SWAT team lobbed tear gas into the houseboat and, 12 hours later, announced they had found the body of wanted fugitive Andrew Cunanan. He did not leave behind a suicide note..
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2. He had an IQ of 147 and was known as a prolific liar.
Born in National City, California on August 31, 1969 to Modesto Cunanan, a Navy veteran turned stockbroker, and Mary Anne Schillaci, Andrew Phillip Cunanan was the youngest of four children. As Maureen Orth reports in her book Vulgar Favors, Cunanan had an IQ of 147, making him incredibly bright for his age. Cunanan attended The Bishop's School in La Jolla, California, a private school where most of the other students came from families that were wealthier than his.
In order to fit in, Cunanan made up stories about his background, which has led many to believe that he showed early signs of antisocial personality disorder—previously referred to as psychopathy or sociopathy. Cunanan would even change his appearance throughout school according to what he felt was most attractive at the time. Later in life, Cunanan would claim that his father was an Israeli millionaire and a Fifth Avenue aristocrat.

3. He memorized the encyclopedia at
the age of 10.
Cunanan was the only one of his siblings to attend a prestigious and expensive private school school. "He was my father’s pride and joy," his brother Christopher Cunanan told interviewer Diane Sawyer in 1997, according to ABC News. "[He was] very smart. When he was about 10 years old, he had read the whole set of encyclopedias … and memorized it. And you could ask him any question. Pick up any edition and ask him any question, and he would tell you.”
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4. His family found out he was gay
 when he was 19.
By the time Cunanan was 19, he had become a frequent nighttime patron at local gay bars and restaurants. During this time, his religious mother found out that he was gay, something other members of his family had known but never acknowledged. It wasn't long after this that Cunanan left home and moved to San Francisco, where he was a more visible part of the gay community.

5. He dropped out of college and
befriended wealthy men.
In 1987, Cunanan enrolled in the University of California San Diego and majored in American History, but he dropped out two years later, eventually moving to San Fransisco. He became a fixture in the nightlife of the Castro district, a gay neighborhood, befriending wealthy older men, and also reportedly took an interest in creating violent pornography.
When news of his killing spree spread, his friends and acquaintances fled the city to avoid running into him and potentially becoming his next victim, according to an article published in the San Diego Reader in May 1997.
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6. His life was bankrolled by a wealthy older man named Norman Blachford, who eventually cut him off, sending Cunanan into a downward spiral.
Blachford, one of his wealthy lovers, broke up with Cunanan in 1996. Blachford had allegedly been bankrolling Cunanan's cushy lifestyle, providing him with a $2,000 per month allowance, a fancy car to drive, and vacations to New York City and the South of France. Then, things went sour. “He was dumped by his latest sugar daddy," Donna Brant, who was the managing editor of America’s Most Wanted at the time of Versace’s murder, told ABC News. "He was losing his prowess among his peers. He had gotten sloppy and lost his looks, and the star was fading."
Sources said Cunanan's mental health suffered when his lifestyle took a hit. "Andrew's self-worth was tied to the finer things in life, what [people] could do for him," criminal profiler Candice DeLong told ABC News. "Being accepted in high society and by wealthy people was what he expected. If he didn't get them, he was lost." It was during this period of self-doubt that Cunanan took the life of his first victim.
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7. He killed four people before murdering Gianni Versace.
Not long before his first murder, Cunanan told his friends in San Diego that he was flying to Minnesota to "settle some business" with old friend Jeffrey Trail, according to an article released by The New York Times a few months after his first murder. While it's not clear how Cunanan and Trail knew each other, investigators at the time believe they had been romantically linked.
Trail, a 28-year-old propane salesman, was found beaten to death with a claw hammer and rolled up in a rug that was stuffed in the closet of architect David Madson's apartment on April 27, 1997. Madson, another one of Cunanan's lovers, would soon become his second victim.
"[Andrew] loved David Madson very, very much.... [But after the breakup,] David didn’t want anything to do with him," Cunanan’s former roommate Erik Greenman told ABC News in 1997. "I mean, David was Andrew’s life. He said many, many times that he would give up everything to move out to Minneapolis for David."
Madson's body was found with gunshot wounds to the head and back on the east shore of Rush Lake near Rush City, Minnesota on May 3, 1997.
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Cunanan later drove to Chicago and killed 72-year-old Lee Miglin on May 4, 1997. No connection was ever found between Cunanan and Miglin, a prominent real estate developer, and officials concluded that it was a crime of opportunity while Miglin was cleaning a garage near his home, according to The Chicago Tribune. After the murder, "Cunanan went into the family's home, ate a ham sandwich, shaved and rested," according to ABC7Chicago.
He then drove Miglin's car to New Jersey, where he murdered yet another victim: William Reese, a cemetery worker, who appeared to have been shot to death so Cunanan could steal his 1995 red Chevrolet pickup truck.
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8. He was the 449th fugitive to be listed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Following his fourth murder, Cunanan had become one of America's most-wanted fugitives. Though law enforcement and the FBI were on the hunt for him, Cunanan made his way to Miami, eventually taking up residence for nearly two months at the Normandy Plaza hotel, about four miles north of Versace's mansion.
The hotel's night manager claimed Cunanan paid in cash and would often change his appearance, possibly even wearing wigs to alter the way he looked, according to Vanity Fair.
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9. He met Versace in San Francisco years before the fashion designer's murder.
In 1990, Versace and his future killer met at Colossus, a San Francisco nightclub, where Cunanan was pleased to find that Versace recognized him from a party at his house on Lake Como. Whether Cunanan had ever actually been to Lake Como is unknown, but he took the recognition and used it to his advantage in his social circles, dropping Versace's name frequently.

10. He shot Versace on the front steps of the designer's Miami mansion.
On July 15, 1997, Gianni Versace was shot to death on the front steps of his Miami Beach mansion. While a witness and police pursued Cunanan, he managed to escape. That morning, investigators found Reese's stolen pickup truck, along with a pile of discarded clothes, a personal check, a passport, newspaper clippings about his past murders, and a pawnshop ticket. At the time, Cunanan was wanted for the murders of Trail, Madson, and Miglin.
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11. The book Vulgar Favors outlines theories about the motive behind his killing spree.
Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History by Maureen Orth was published in 1999, two years after Versace and Cunanan's deaths.From missteps by law enforcement at the time of the original investigation to interesting theories about Cunanan's potential motivation for shooting Versace, the book takes a close look at who Cunanan was and how law officials attempted to put together the pieces of the puzzle leading up to Versace's murder. The book about Cunanan's life was also used as inspiration for the upcoming season of American Crime Story.
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12. Darren Criss stars as Cunanan in the American Crime Story series.
Criss looks nearly identical to Versace's killer in the FX series, and he seems to have found common ground with his character as well. "At the end of the day, if you think of the worst person that you know, that's done the worst things ever, you have more in common with them than not," Criss said of playing Cunanan in an interview with radio personality Elvis Duran. "The fact is, those differences are big, but they're small in number ... So, what's kind of been a joy for me is to find as many redeeming things as possible in someone that you fathom as something so horrible and to really get the audience to ask themselves, 'At what point could this have been me?'"
Gianni Versace is played by Édgar Ramírez; Penélope Cruz plays his sister Donatella Versace; and Ricky Martin plays Versace's partner Antonio D'Amico.
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VERSACE MURDER: 20 years Ago

It was 1997. The designer, 50, had just unlocked the gate of his home after having breakfast at News Café on Ocean Drive when a man in his mid-twenties, serial killer Andrew Cunanan, pulled a gun and shot him twice in the back of the head.
International media swarmed into South Beach to cover the sensational slaying which took place outside Casa Casuarina, his elaborate and opulent 10-bedroom Ocean Drive mansion.
Versace’s blood stained the coral front steps of the property after the shooting. The world famous, part-time resident lived in the home for five years before his murder.
The manhunt for Cunanan, once a male prostitute, made international headlines in the days that followed.
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He was suspected in the murders of four other men and was already on the federal ten most wanted list at the time he shot and killed Versace.

A little more than a week after Versace’s murder, Cunanan killed himself on a shuttered houseboat about 40 blocks north of the mansion as police closed in.
More than a decade and a half later, investigators still don’t know why Cunanan murdered Versace or his other victims in the deadly crime spree that spread from Minneapolis to Chicago to South Beach.
At Versace’s funeral in Milan Italy a week after his death, celebrity mourners included Elton John, Georgio Armani and Princess Diana; one month before her own death in Paris.
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Monday, March 19, 2018

Kim Jones: New Director of Dior Homme!

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The British designer Kim Jones was confirmed as the new artistic director of Dior Homme on Monday, two months after he stepped down as artistic director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton. He will replace Kris Van Assche, who had been in the role 11 years.
The creative reshuffling and the hiring of Mr. Jones, who will start April 1, are the first major strategic decisions by Pietro Beccari, chief executive of Christian Dior Couture, who joined the brand from Fendi in November.

The news will most likely heighten speculation about the future of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the fashion house’s artistic director of women’s wear, whose tenure has received mixed reviews. And it comes just days after another major fashion house, Nina Ricci, said its creative director of three years, Guillaume Henry, was stepping down.
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The announcement on Monday ends feverish speculation about Mr. Jones’s next move. The news of his appointment came minutes after LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the French luxury conglomerate that owns both Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton, said that Mr. Van Assche would be leaving Dior. Mr. Van Assche will, however, remain in the LVMH group, a statement said, in a role that has yet to be announced.
“I am delighted to welcome Kim Jones at Dior Homme,” Mr. Beccari said in a statement, adding that Mr. Jones would “create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture.”
“I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale,” Mr. Beccari added.
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There had been much speculation in recent months about where Mr. Jones would go after his unexpected departure from Louis Vuitton in January, although it recently emerged that he would stay in the LVMH stable. Mr. Jones, a graduate of the London art and design school Central Saint Martins, held his position at Louis Vuitton for seven years, and had at one stage been tipped for the top creative job at Burberry before it was given to Riccardo Tisci. He will present his first collection for Dior Homme in June, during Paris men’s fashion week.
“I am deeply honored to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance,” Mr. Jones said. “I am committed to create a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the house.”
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In his previous role, Mr. Jones was widely applauded for revitalizing the Louis Vuitton men’s wear line for a younger generation, mixing the house’s travel heritage, which sits at the highest end of the price spectrum, with a more street-friendly style. His previous position remains unfilled, although there was much discussion during Paris fashion week last month over whether Virgil Abloh, the American designer behind the Off-White label, might be tapped for the role.
Dior does not break out revenue for its men’s business. However, Christian Dior Couture posted overall revenue of 43.7 billion euros, or $53.7 billion, last year, an increase of 11 percent over 2016. In April, LVMH took control of Christian Dior Couture in a $13 billion deal, simplifying a complex ownership structure under which Dior was the parent company of the group.
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Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018 CFDA Nominees!

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The CFDA revealed the nominees for the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards for the first time via Instagram, with Candice Huffine, Martha Hunt, Young Paris, Todd Snyder, Irene Neuwirth and Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia of Monse making the digital announcements on the CFDA’s account @CFDA.
The nominees for Womenswear Designer of the Year Award are Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Gabriela Hearst, Marc Jacobs, Virgil Abloh for Off-White, and Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row. Menswear Designer of the Year Award nominees are Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Virgil Abloh for Off-White, James Jebbia for Supreme, Thom Browne and Tom Ford. For the Accessory Designer of the Year Award, the nominees are Paul Andrew, Stuart Vevers for Coach, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel, Irene Neuwirth, and Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row.
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Mike Amiri for Amiri, Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock for Brock Collection, Aurora James for Brother Vellies, Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss and Sander Lak for Sies Marjan have been nominated for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent. The winner of this prize receives cash — and crystal — support from Swarovski.
As for the honorary awards of the night, Diane von Furstenberg will receive the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. Narciso Rodriguez will receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. Carolina Herrera will receive the Founder’s Award in honor of CFDA founder Eleanor Lambert. Edward Enninful will receive the Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard. Donatella Versace will receive the International Award.
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Issa Rae, best known for her HBO show “Insecure,” for which she has won two consecutive Best Actress Golden Globe nominations, is hosting the awards June 4 at the Brooklyn Museum. Rae is the first female host of the awards in nine years — Tracey Ullman, Fran Lebowitz, Ellen Barkin, Christine Baranski and Sandra Bernhard have done the honors — and the first-ever African-American host.
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It’s the first time in the CFDA Fashion Awards’ 37-year history that the ceremony is being held in Brooklyn (the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund gala was held in Brooklyn last fall), which can be interpreted as a symbol of the organization’s awareness of the cultural moment and willingness to buck tradition.
Last month, the CFDA made a concerted effort toward inclusivity for this year’s awards when the organization’s chief executive officer and president Steven Kolb sent out an e-mail reminding voters to consider to race, gender and inclusivity when putting forth nominees. “We truly want the event to celebrate the full creative spectrum and richness of American fashion,” he wrote in the e-mail. “Just think of how much fashion is changing, and the diversity of our industry. Designers with broad cultural backgrounds and political ideas are expressing their experiences and beliefs in their collections. Their work deserves greater acknowledgment, acceptance and visibility.” The awards have been criticized for including the same names on the ballots year after, though the nominees are based on submissions by the CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, made up of the 500-plus members of the CFDA, as well as retailers, journalists and stylists.
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BFC honors Donatella Versace the Fashion Icon Award!

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DOTING ON DONATELLA: The British Fashion Council will honor Donatella Versace with The Fashion Icon Award at the Fashion Awards next month.

Versace will receive the accolade for her work as artistic director for the label. The award honors the legacy built by her brother, the late Gianni Versace and her contributions to the design house as well as her role in the industry as a mentor and supporter of emerging British designers. The brand was launched in 1978 by Gianni Versace, and the creative director worked alongside Donatella who incorporated celebrities into their ad campaigns. Upon her brother’s passing, she became the artistic director in 1997. December marks an important date for the design house as it commemorates Gianni Versace’s 20-year legacy.
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“For 40 years my brother and I have done what we love and that is a legacy I am honored to continue and uphold,” said Donatella Versace.

“We have celebrated empowerment, joy and, of course, glamour. We have championed a community of people who share our values and together with them have created truly iconic images in the world of fashion. I am truly humbled by how Versace has been embraced across the decades, across the world and across the generations. Thank you to the industry for your support of us, thank you to my team for their loyalty and incredibly hard work, thank you to my family and friends who have supported me more than they can know and thank you to the genius that was my brother Gianni. His incredible spirit is in everything we do and everything we stand for.”
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Natalie Massenet, chairman British Fashion Council said Versace is an exemplary woman and designer who has shaped the global fashion industry with her vision for Versace.
“She has shown incredible strength and dedication to the industry and has continued her brother’s legacy through her remarkable work,” said Massenet.
“What I admire the most about her is her ability to make women look and feel powerful. I could not imagine a better recipient of this award, especially as this year marks such an important date for Versace.”
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Donatella sitting Front Row at Gucci!

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR: “He is a genius,” enthused Donatella Versace, speaking of Alessandro Michele, sitting front row at the Gucci show. “When I came in and saw this space, I thought it was a genius idea. I am crazy for it. It’s intriguing. Alessandro thinks outside the box. Usually, an operating room is something scary, but this isn’t — not here,” said Versace, referring to the set unveiled on Wednesday for the show.
The designer defined Gucci's creative director Alessandro Michele as "the golden boy."

Versace has long been a champion of young designers, and has no qualms about praising her peers, including Pierpaolo Piccioli.
“They put so much love in their work,” she said of Valentino’s creative director and of Michele. To be sure, it’s a love that comes around as Piccioli and Michele both attended Versace’s spring show last September, together with Anthony Vaccarello. 
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