This year marks the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace‘s untimely death. Today the Italian fashion house is run by Gianni’s sister, Donatella Versace — but Gianni’s influence is still palpable. Earlier this fall, during Milan Fashion Week, Donatella staged her biggest tribute to her brother yet, by calling upon Gianni’s five favorite supermodels, which included Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, to be part of her blockbuster fashion show finale. The collection itself featured many of Gianni’s iconic Versace creations — from Warholian print dresses to silky baroque blouses and bondage LBDs.
Now you can shop more than 500 of Gianni’s greatest hits from throughout his illustrious career. E-tailer Farfetch has partnered with celebrity go-to vintage collector William Banks-Blaney — founder of William Vintage — who has brought decades of vintage Versace items for sale to the public.
“Gianni was always about pure, unadulterated joy, and there was so much romance and happiness within his work. We had wanted to celebrate Gianni in 2017 and mark the 20th anniversary with 20 years of his work and had been working upon the collection for some time. We decided to unite Farfetch and William Vintage on the project, as I had always admired their vision and approach,” Banks-Blaney tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Banks-Blaney has helped dress some of the world’s most stylish women, from Rihanna to Amal Clooney to Victoria Beckham, dressing them in his tightly edited, well-curated selection of the world’s most beautiful haute couture vintage pieces. So how did Banks-Blaney earn his title as the King of Vintage?
“I had always loved vintage clothing and felt there was a gap in the market for an edited, relevant selection of vintage for the women I knew. What started as a pop-up for friends became William Vintage. The collection has been built up over the years from stylists, models, devoted wearers of Versace, and private collectors. It’s been a long time in forming it, as we adhere to our strict approach of relevance and superb condition to every piece.” Indeed the William Vintage and Farfetch partnership took 18 months to put together.
Items in the exclusive collection vary far and wide, from colorful hosiery, which starts at $140, to edgy brooches and belts. Then there is a diverse selection of pop-statement coats, baroque blouse and bondage skirt sets, and classic Versace yellow-and-black cropped jackets. There is also plenty of leopard to go around. The priciest item available at the moment is an orange-sherbet-color bondage dress that retails for $67,666. A similar black bondage dress priced at $52,965 quickly sold out when the collection debuted. In reference to the latter: “It was an extremely rare example in superb condition and from a truly iconic collection — representative of the designer, the decade, the collection, and relevant today, so it was a coveted thing,” says Banks-Blaney.
Having more than 500 items to choose from, the William Vintage founder shares three of of his favorite picks:
An homage to Italy and to Roman art, this dress was a campaign piece and an iconic Gianni Versace design.
One collection fused art, fashion, and film and the legends of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Andy Warhol, and Gianni Versace.
We had to ask Banks-Blaney, a skilled vintage collector, a few words of advice. First, which designers should customers invest in now that might have the same staying power as Versace?
“I always suggest to our clients to buy what you love and make that your focus, but personally I love Simone Rocha, Mary Katrantzou, and Bora Aksu,” says Banks-Blaney. And what’s the one piece of style advice does he lives by? “Be yourself, wear what makes you happy, and be a leader, not a follower.”
Shop the William Vintage x Farfetch exclusive Vintage Gianni Versace collection now online at farfetch.com and williamvintage.com. If you happen to be in London, stop by the William Vintage flagship store in Marylebone.
Read More from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• The complete Fashion Week trend guide for Spring 2018
• Why is Jennifer Lawrence wearing a wedding dress?
• Size 14 model called ‘an icon for a new generation of girls’ after walking in India Fashion Week