Giovanni “Gianni” Versace was born on December 2, 1946, in Reggio Calabria, Italy. His mother, Francesca, was a dressmaker in the town. Growing up, Gianni was heavily influenced by ancient Greek art and culture as well as modern artists such as Andy Warhol. In the early 1970s, he began working at fashion houses around Milan and saw great success. By 1978, Gianni had built his own fashion line: Versace. Throughout his life, Gianni designed costumes for theater, film, musicians, and celebrities alike. Even though he died in 1997, his legacy continues, and his designs inspire fashion houses and artists all over the world.