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Donatella Versace on Jennifer Lopez’s Famous Dress, the Supermodel Era & More

When Jennifer Lopez stepped out at the 2000 Grammy Awards in a barely-there green silk chiffon Versace dress, she nearly crashed the internet — or would have if Google users could have accessed the photo.

At the time, J.Lo — and her dress — were the most popular query ever. And the experience prompted Google to launch its wildly popular image-search library. It became a defining moment for Versace, too.

Donatella Versace, the Italian legend, said she had “no idea” the dress would cause such a stir after she sent it to Lopez. In a conversation with InStyle fashion news director Eric Wilson on Wednesday evening in New York, the designer also reminisced about the brand’s 2000 campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, which featured Amber Valletta in the same look.

Eric Wilson Donatella Versace conversation
Eric Wilson, in conversation with Donatella Versace on Dec. 7.
CREDIT: Courtesy of BFA

Versace herself appeared with supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell in a 1998 brand campaign. “I want supermodels to come back,” she said.

The designer also talked about the power of social media and why she enjoys having a relationship with her fans. (She was the first designer to participate in the “ice bucket challenge,” during which she poured a bucket of ice water on her head to raise awareness of ALS.)

Lady Gaga Versace Campaign
Lady Gaga, who starred in a Versace campaign, has already promoted the book on Instagram.
CREDIT: Courtesy of BFA

“People, sometimes, when they’re famous a little bit like me, they start being untouchable,” she said. “But I like to have a relationship with people. Instagram allows me to do that, to talk to the new generation.”

She also recalled her close relationship with Prince, who appeared in a Versace campaign shot by Richard Avedon. She remarked about how shy the musician was — like herself. “He was always sending me music,” Versace recalled.

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