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Donatella Versace: 'My models are real men, they're not perfect'

Donatella Versace: 'My models are real men, they're not perfect'

Donatella Versace is done with gym buff models.

In fact the designer and vice president of the Versace Group is pursuing a different aesthetic for her menswear show. Instead of the usual buffed up model types, she has cast real men for the label's menswear show in Milan later this month (Jun).

Working with legendary fashion photographer Bruce Weber, who is best known for his stylish monochrome ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Pirelli, and Versace, the Italian designer cast a diverse array of men, from an opera singer to an ice cream seller.

In an interview with WWD, Donatella explained: "Yes, it’s a different man — thinner, less muscular. Their muscles are defined, but they are less gym buff. He doesn’t need to say, look how beautiful he is. This is a casting of men that have an attitude, an inner attitude."

The designer reveals Bruce organised the casting, with 28 men, none of them professional models, who will all appear on the runway at Versace Menswear Spring/Summer 2017 show (18Jun). He went for a non-uniform look, just choosing a group of very different men with "different aspirations."

"There’s a surfer from Australia who’s flying in... One was selling ice cream on a beach in Miami. You have to see him; he is so handsome. There’s an opera singer, a soprano. He was singing while we were shooting the ads. All of them will be on the runway," Donatella smiled. "They are more real men, not perfect. Perfection in men is not true."

And to prove the point, she has even cast a model who she didn't consider good looking.

"(One) is not beautiful but so intelligent. I couldn’t stop listening to him speaking...There’s an Asian boy — Asia is one of the biggest markets for everybody. There’s a soldier from the Navy," the platinum blonde designer added.

Discussing the new collection, Donatella had some very forthright opinions on the trend for "gender-mixing" - showing menswear and womenswear together - in fashion. And in short, she's not a fan.

When asked how she felt about the different take on seasons and genders, the designer said: "I don’t believe in gender mixing... I like a strong, daring woman who has no fear of showing who she is, her force. The same with men. You can’t translate it in the clothes in the same way. Absolutely not. They are very different."

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