Versace’s parent company has also pledged $10 million to sustain the newly created foundation’s activities. Although specific projects have not been disclosed yet, the foundation is set to engage with philanthropic organizations and community groups to support the preservation of LGBTQ history and culture, in addition to promoting the advancement of equality, wellness and safety for the LGBTQ community.
“We all have a right to be accepted, to be loved and to be our most authentic selves. The Versace Foundation enables us to further our pursuit of LGBTQIA+ equity, wellness and safety, as well as to continue to be an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Capri Holdings’ chairman and chief executive officer John D. Idol.
The Italian fashion house’s chief creative officer Donatella Versace said she was proud that “Versace has always been known for its inclusivity” and echoed the excitement “for the support and assistance the Versace Foundation will bring to the LGBTQIA+ community.”
The foundation marks a decisive, further step for the designer, who has long voiced her support for LGBTQ equality. For previous iterations of the Pride Month, Versace has launched dedicated capsule collections with sales benefiting charities that are active in shaping a more inclusive, equal world. For instance, in 2020 the Versace X Pride collection benefited Pride Live in the U.S. and Arcigay in Europe.
A year before, the Pride Live organization also appointed the designer as Stonewall ambassador. At the time, Versace made an appearance alongside Lady Gaga in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn, which paved the way for gay rights.
In particular, the collaboration between Versace and Lady Gaga dates back to 2011, when the singer decided to wear Versace vintage dresses for “The Edge of Glory” music video and for the “Born This Way” tour. Last year, in conjunction with Pride Month, Versace paid tribute to that moment and the messages in Lady Gaga’s songs by auctioning a replica of the leather jacket she designed for the tour to support the artist’s Born This Way Foundation. In addition, Versace created a limited-edition T-shirt and beret, emblazoned with the brand’s logo in Pride rainbow colors.
On the Italian front, Versace has always been very vocal in supporting “DDL Zan” protesting against the decision of Italy’s Senate to block the bill against homotransphobia, which would have extended passages of the penal code that already punish discrimination and violence based on racial, ethical and religious beliefs to also include sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as disability.