Fashion Week

History’s greatest supers join Donatella Versace in moving catwalk tribute

One of Fashion Week’s most memorable finales played out on the runway this evening, as Donatella Versace appeared at her own show flanked by five world-famous supermodels.

Donatella was joined by Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Helena Christensen at the climax of her SS18 show in Milan, in tribute to her late brother Gianni Versace. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his untimely death. 

To honour his memory, Donatella re-created a legendary moment from Gianni’s 1991 show, when he walked down the catwalk arm-in-arm with four supermodels, watched by the late singer George Michael in the front row.

Today’s show saw Donatella surrounded by a squad of her brother’s favourite supers, in an emotional and powerful sequence that played out to George Michael’s hit Freedom.

Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Helena Christensen

Donatella and her squad: Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Helena Christensen

Donatella and her brother Gianni, pictured in 1993

Donatella and her brother Gianni, pictured in 1993

Each of the 90s icons wore matching gold chainmail dresses and walked hand-in-hand with Donatella.

All elements of the epic Versace show were choreographed in homage to Gianni, who was gunned down outside his Miami Beach home aged 50.

Today’s tribute featured prints that appeared in the late designer’s collections from 1991-1995.

“Gianni, you always recognized how powerful women are,” read an Instagram post by Versace, next to a photo of the pieces. “You helped women reclaim their own voice and be themselves, thank you Gianni, we love you.”

A post shared by Versace (@versace_official) on

Donatella revealed that it was just like old times with the supermodels, most of whom are now in their late 40s.

“They have a green room each, but they are running in and out of each other’s rooms all day,” the designer said, at a pre-show press conference. “And because they walk the runway together they are arguing about who gets to go in the middle, just like the old days.”

 In the end, it appears Naomi won that particular honour; and all five original supers were thrilled for the chance to reunite:

New generation faces, including Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber, Kendall Jenner and sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, also appeared at the show.

Photos: Rex Features