Gianni Versace took London by storm the other day. The designer lectured Thursday morning at the Royal College of Art, visited his boutique on Bond Street and his new Versus shop in Knightsbridge and then went to Harrods for a pre-publication signing of his new book “Vanitas: Designs.”

Versace walked into the book department ahead of models Monica Bellucci, an Italian actress, and Emma Sioberg and faced 16 photographers, three television crews and several hundred customers. In two hours, he signed just under 300 books at $75 each. Later that evening, he was the guest of honor at a Harpers & Queen dinner at Blakes Hotel. Among the guests were director Tim Burton, singers Lisa B., Bob Geldof and Bryan Ferry, and Cosima von Bulow, Philip Treacy, Sir Mark and Lady Weinberg and Marguerite and Mark Littman.

Models are attaining a status rivaling that of major league baseball players — or so Next Management believes. The modeling agency will release a set of 30 model trading cards in mid-July. They’ll come in eight-card sets featuring the likes of Angie Everhart, Yasmeen Ghauri and Daniela Pestova for $1.69, or a boxed collector’s set containing all 30 cards for $18.95. But they don’t include gum.

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