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Donatella’s New Day: ‘Stronger’ Than Ever As Business Revamps

Feeling better than ever, Donatella Versace, who spent six weeks in rehab this summer for drug-related issues, was in London to promote her latest fragrance.

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As for Daniel, her 13-year-old son, Versace said she’s having fun with him. “I spend a lot of time with him, and he is my greatest critic on the collections. I’m actually petrified of what he’s going to say about them,” she said with a laugh.

While there may be a new era dawning, this is something of a deja-vu moment for Versace. Once again, she’s working with Giancarlo Di Risio, the tough, no-nonsense manager with whom she launched the Versus collection in the early Nineties. Di Risio, formerly managing director of Ittierre, the Italian licensee that manufactured Versus before the company took production in-house, is now chief executive of Versace.

“I’d been trying to hire him for three years, but he was at Fendi. He’s a great friend — and he’s smart, strong and fast. And he’s got a lot of enthusiasm for the business,” she said.

And while Di Risio’s new strategies and plans for the company may be dominating her time, Versace is sticking to some of her old routines. “I’m still doing aerobics — about 30 minutes a day — and free weights. I did so much kickboxing in the run-up to the show that my trainer told me I had to slow down.”

But despite all the work — and her fresh take on life — Versace said some of her old habits die hard. “I still don’t get to the office at 8 am. I go in 10, 10:30 — quarter to 11 is even better. I’m not a saint — yet.”
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