Donatella Versace is the fashion industry’s very own rock’n’roll legend. She has survived addiction and tragedy and remains as blonde as Debbie Harry and as snake-hipped as Keith Richards, still holding her spot as Milan fashion week’s Friday night headliner.

But Donatella’s outlook has evolved, and Versace’s with it. The bulletproof glamour is unchipped and glossy as freshly manicured nails, but the designer’s salty, wry persona is more Stormy Daniels than Barbie these days. “When [my brother] Gianni was alive… there was a different kind of energy,” she told Harper’s Bazaar recently. “His women had something to say as well, but being a man he put accent on their bodies and their attitude. That was his way to spread a message about self-confidence and strength, but I am a woman and I live in a completely different world. Looks are important, but … [women] want to be listened to.”

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Vijay Nanda

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