Versace lights up Beijing in first China fashion show

Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:04am EST
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By Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - Italian luxury brand Versace put on a glitzy and glamorous first fashion show in China on Thursday a stone's throw from Beijing's central Tiananmen Square, raising more than $100,000 for charity.

Using only Chinese models on a circular runway similar to one used at Milan events, Versace chose one of Beijing's most fashionable new addresses for the show, the Legation Quarter, home to the U.S. embassy in the final days of imperial China.

"What appeals to me is the energy in China, especially in this city Beijing. There are a lot of young people, creative people, a lot of art -- it's very inspiring," design head and vice president Donatella Versace told Reuters.

"Chinese people like luxury brands," added Donatella, looking resplendent in a shimmering, figure-hugging black dress and towering black stiletto shoes.

Versace displayed its spring/summer 2009 collection at the show, which had previously debuted in Milan, in front of an elite audience of socialites, executives and celebrities, including Chinese and Hollywood action star Jet Li.

Donatella said she would like to make China a regular stop on Versace's fashion show calendar.

"If the economic crisis permits, yes I'll come every year," she told reporters ahead of the show.

"I have to say that doing it here in Beijing has been amazing because of the enthusiasm," Donatella added. "I think the Chinese people love fashion -- that's what I can feel."   Continued...

<p>Fashion designer Donatella Versace (R) walks with Chinese action star Jet Li after her fashion show in Beijing November 13, 2008. The show was the first by the fashion label Versace in China. REUTERS/David Gray</p>