The Versace logo: Connecting Modern Fashion and Myth

by Phedre de Feullide


Greek Mythology is a topic which almost everyone studies in school, and which oddly enough, can be found influencing us in our daily modern lives. Everyone knows that Greece was the birthplace of democracy; basically it is where the American idea of government comes from, and has even influenced our ideas of heroes and villains. Not everyone however, is aware of how prolific Greek mythology is in today’s media. Many companies have taken names or logos which take their meaning from Greek mythology; companies like NIKE, named after the goddess of victory, or the product Ajax, named for a hero of the Trojan war. Gianni Versace’s clothing line has also taken its cue from the past.

The Versace logo shows a representation of the head of Medusa: a woman who was transformed into a monster after offending the gods. She was punished for allowing the god Poseidon to seduce her in the temple of the goddess Aphrodite. Her hair, which had once been her most glorified attribute, was turned into snakes. As the story goes, anyone who looked at her would be turned into stone. Perhaps this is not something which one would usually associate with a major fashion house; something being so ugly that it can turn you into stone. However, Gianni Versace had a fascination with classical art and architecture, and it is with the later, beautiful representations of Medusa that the logo is associated with. During the Roman period, especially, Medusa was depicted as a beautiful woman with wild hair, and a few snakes twined here and there.

Copyright 2005, Phedre de Feuillide. College grad with an Art History/archeology degree with a minor in religion. My other interests are classical lit, old movies, and extreme sports. Reprinted from

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