Allegra Versace is an Italian heiress and a socialite. She was born to a famous Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace and her model husband, Paul Beck. She grew up in the prestigious fashion family in Milan as a teenager suffering from an eating disorder, anorexia. It contributed greatly to her thin frame as she grew up, due to which she avoided the spotlights and cameras at any cost. She was the niece of Gianni Versace, the founder of the world famous fashion accessories brand Versace. After finishing her early education in Italy, Allegra moved to United States to further her education and to work in the entertainment field, particularly the drama theatres. She was extremely close to her uncle Gianni. When he was shot dead in 1997, Allegra received a trauma which was very hard to recover from and her mother had to seek the help of a counsellor. Upon Gianni’s demise, Allegra became the heiress of 50% of the vast empire established by Gianni, while the remaining share went to her mother and her uncle. Since 2011, Gianni has been an acting director at Gianni Versace S.p.A and has worked in the past as a theatrical designer in New York.
Childhood & Early Life
Allegra Versace was born on June 30, 1986 in Milan, Italy to a fashion designer mother Donatella Versace and her husband, an American fashion model, Paul Beck. Her mother was the sister of Gianni Versace, the founder of the Versace Empire. She and her brother had worked very closely and Gianni had even launched a perfume dedicated to his sister named ‘Blonde’.
Allegra was the eldest child born to Donatella and Paul and had a younger brother growing up in Milan, the once fashion capital of the world. Hailing from one of the richest families in the entire Italy, Allegra was exposed to a lavish childhood. Her mother being an ace fashion designer, Allegra was taken to the fashion shows since she was a kid. She had already made her first appearance in a fashion show when she was just two days old.
But the fashion industry did not impress her when she was growing up. Just as she got enrolled into the kindergarten school, she started taking dancing lessons in Salsa and by the time she was nine years of age, she had become a trained dancer.
She grew up very close to her uncle Gianni, the most influential man in the fashion world. As a birthday gift on her 10th birthday, he gave her a gift of arranging her dance with international ballet star Maurice Bejart. Another major gift she got was a piano from the renowned musician Sir Elton John, who was a close friend of her uncle Gianni.
Allegra further said in an interview that her mother dressed her up in silk when she went to kindergarten classes and that became a reason for her embarrassment more often than not. It was impossible to finger paint on her costly silk dresses, so she was sent home very often. Gianni grew up as a studios kid, miles away from the world of fashion that her family was known for. If anything, she was looking for a career in drama.
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Life & Career
Allegra suffered from an eating disorder called anorexia and due to that, she struggled to gain weight all her life. It was one of the reasons for her disinterest in the fashion world, as she hated facing the cameras. The family further released a statement in 2007 which said that Allegra was indeed suffering from a very dangerous eating disorder and added that she was taking the best treatment possible to combat it.
During the course of his extremely successful career, Gianni Versace was in many gay relationships and one of his exes shot him down in 1997. Gianni died on the spot and it was a traumatic event for the family. Allegra was 11 years old then and she was the one who took it the worst. She told her mother that she wanted to be there when it happened and that guilt further led to elevating the eating disorder that would later bug her during her adulthood as well.
In addition to that, she was also facing troubles from her mother as well. Donatella was heading towards a bitter divorce with her husband Paul and was indulged in heavy usage of cocaine and alcohol. On the top of all that, with the death of Gianni, the company was on the verge of facing a financial crisis.
Allegra was the favourite niece of Gianni and in her will he clearly stated that 50 percent of his empire shall be named to Allegra as soon as she turns 18 years old. The remaining 30 and 20 percent were to be distributed among Santo and Donatella Versace respectively. Thus, as soon as she turned 18, Allegra became the owner of hundreds of millions of dollars. But initially, she was uninterested in the fashion world and decided to carry on her education as by then, she had graduated from her high school.
Following her uncle’s death, Allegra was kept under high scrutiny all the time and she was not allowed to leave home. On the top of all that, the empire had been indebted and Donatella was not stable. Allegra’s life was about to tear apart and hence, it seemed like the plausible choice when she asked her mother to go to USA for her further studies. She wanted to stay away from the fashion world as far as she could. She asked her mother for a few years until she was 24 and said that he wanted to start a career in acting.
She subsequently got enrolled into Brown University, Rhode Island, to study art and drama and later got enrolled into UCLA, where she continued her studies in French, theatre and Art history. She also joined theatres during that time and worked for quite some time as a theatre dresser before she plunged into acting.
She eventually started playing minor roles in independent films. Most of them did not receive a release and this surprisingly pleased Allegra. She said that all she wanted was to act as it gave her a chance to play a different person. But she was not very fond of seeing her on-screen or in the photographs due to her low self esteem regarding her body.
In order to remain somewhat lesser known, she refrained from using her last name Versace and went with Beck. After spending a few years in USA trying to forge a career in acting, she finally decided to move back to Milan in 2011.
During her stay in America, she kept a check on her mother, who was recovering from addictions. Donatella would arrive in USA every month and the mother-daughter duo would bond over music and shopping. Everything seemed to come back on track when Allegra decided to take responsibilities as the director of Versace, the company.
Allegra Versace still remains anonymous and away from the cameras and paparazzi. She further stated that she has constantly worked in fashion to honour her beloved uncle. She helped a non-Italian fashion designer in advertising and setting up his very own fashion show.
The drama based on murder of Gianni’s murder, ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’ does not feature her. She was included in the series for one scene but her character was taken out when she insisted it.