He worked intermittently as a model before being hired as a designer at ‘Versace.’ He was involved with ‘Istante’ and ‘Versus Sport,’ the sub-diffusion line of Donatella Versace’s ‘Versus.’
After the murder, he designed and presented a fashion collection at Milan in 1999, emphasizing later that it was funded by his personal savings and not by Versace’s legacy. Elton John, whom he met and befriended during his relationship with Gianni, attended the premier to support him. The line was unusually ambitious, housing both menswear and womenswear. ‘Spacewear’, a less expensive collection with more casual offerings such as jeans and T-shirts, was also released around the same time.
He continued to design afterward, releasing ‘Pump,’ a denim line, with soccer star Massimo Lotti in 2012. D’Amico described this collection as “very city jeans but with the idea of country chic.”¬ The line was heavily inspired by the American West.
His most recent collection, a golfwear line called ‘Antonio D’Amico Golf,’ premiered in 2017¬ and marked his return to sportswear. He has reportedly credited Elton John as the inspiration for his second major foray into design.
Reports vary as to when D’Amico met Versace. Some sources list the year as 1982, but others claim that it was 1986. This meeting reportedly occurred at ‘La Scala,’ an opera house in Milan.
They then entered into both professional and personal partnerships, spanning several years. Although Versace did not reveal the relationship to the general public until 1995, he was very open about his intimate relationship with D’Amico within his intimate circles. The designer has recently objected to reports that Versace shied away from confirming the nature of this relationship, stating that Gianni never “tried to hide who he was” and that they “lived like a natural couple.”
After living in Milan for several years, they moved to Miami in 1992, where they lived at one of the several Versace residences. It was here that Andrew Cunanan, a troubled serial killer whose motives remain unclear to this day, shot and killed Versace on July 15, 1997.
D’Amico has since stated that he was one of the first responders after the tragedy. Versace had reportedly ventured outside to fetch a newspaper, a task D’Amico usually joined him for. On this particular day, however, D’Amico sat “drinking coffee on a veranda close to the mansion’s entrance” when he heard the shots. Since the mansion’s stained windows offered little visibility, he had to open the gate and rush outside with a butler to investigate, only to find his partner sprawled across the steps, bleeding to death. D’Amico later declared that at that point, “everything went dark” and that “he was pulled away” and saw no more.
In the aftermath of the murder and the morbid attention it attracted, D’Amico’s relationship with the Versace family unraveled. Both of Gianni’s siblings: his elder brother, Santo, and his younger sister, Donatella, disliked him. Donatella later stated that although she respected D’Amico as her brother’s partner, she did not like him as a person.
As a result, the inheritance that Gianni had left him in his will, a $57,000 monthly stipend and the right to live in any of the Versace properties (including the Miami mansion), was compromised. The organization ‘Versace’ owned the residences, and as one of the new owners, Donatella prevented him from moving in. She and Santo also allegedly asked D’Amico to accept the entirety of the stipend as a single payment. Eventually, he only received a fraction of this payment, which he later declared was “eaten up by taxes.” He has since stated that he found it too “painful” to live in the mansion and did not negotiate further with the family.
Following Versace’s death and the fracas with the Versace family, D’Amico slipped into a depressive period that lasted for years. He later said that the incident had “torn” him “in two” and that it “felt false to have expectations in life.” Although he has returned to his designing career, he remains reclusive and shies away from publicity.
He, however, resurfaced recently to comment on the second season of the ‘FX’ crime anthology series ‘American Crime Story,’ which premiered in January 2018 and depicted the Versace assassination. The series delved into Versace’s relationship with D’Amico in detail. Gay icon and Latin superstar Ricky Martin portrayed D’Amico in the series.
The Versace family released a statement denouncing a few aspects of the show. Soon, D’Amico, too, declared that he did not agree with the depiction of his relationship. He stated that he was not contacted for details and pointed out certain inaccuracies in the show’s treatment of the murder, singling out the death scene in particular, which he called “ridiculous.” He stated that he had not touched the body after the murder, and that Ricky Martin holding the lifeless body of his lover in his arms reminded him of Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà.’ D’Amico also asserted that Versace did not know Cunanan, and in contradiction to what the show suggested, had never spent time with him in a club.
At the same time, he stated that he had no intention of watching the show but welcomed any attempts from Martin to get in touch and gain insight into the details of their relationship. Martin later revealed that he had, in fact, contacted D’Amico.
After the show started airing in January 2018, D’Amico released an official statement, calling the portrayal a “misrepresentation.”
Although he believes that he will always be connected to Gianni’s memory, D’Amico has found love again and stays with his new partner in a “normal house in the countryside outside Milan,” where they have a “humble” lifestyle.