conic designer Gianni Versace was born on December 2, 1946 in the industrial town of Reggio di Calabria, in southern Italy. At the age of 18, he went to work as a buyer in his mother Francesca's clothing store. At age 22, Versace began designing clothes. A local garment maker hired him to design a collection that was sold in Francesca Versace's store. As a result, he became known in Milan, the center of Italian fashion, and he soon landed a job as a designer with clothing manufacturer Florentine Flowers. In 1974, he created and developed his own line - Complice. The success of that line would lead Versace to create future lines of cutting edge apparel, perfume, cologne and accessories.