MILAN — Capping off years of advocating for LGBTQ equality, Donatella Versace is to be appointed Stonewall Ambassador by Pride Live, an organization pushing forward awareness and support for the LGBTQ community through social advocacy and community engagement. Other new ambassadors include Hillary Rodham Clinton and global LGBTQ activist Conchita Wurst, among others.
“Words cannot express how honored I am to have been named an ambassador of Stonewall Inn,” Versace said. “What happened here in 1969 was something extraordinary that caught the attention of the world on the issues of diversity, equality, basic civil rights and acceptance. Today, we celebrate the enormous achievements of 50 years of fighting against prejudice and injustice and I could not be more proud to add my voice to the ones of millions of other people who have the strength and courage to demand a change in the status quo. For a better life for everyone. For a better world.”
The new ambassadors are to be revealed today ahead of Stonewall Day on June 28, which every year commemorates the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots. Other established ambassadors range from Anna Wintour and designer Christian Siriano to Fern Mallis, founder of New York Fashion Week, and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few.
“I have always been a strong advocate and supporter of LGBTQ+ rights,” Versace said. “Most importantly because I believe that no one should be judged for his or her sexual orientation, but also for the color of their skin or their religious belief. In 2019 it is not acceptable that there are people who live in fear because of the person they love, or worse they are persecuted, thrown out of their homes.…We all need to voice our concern so that everyone can stop living in fear and is free to be whoever they want to be. We need to stop the hate and the discrimination to create a society that accepts diversity, treats everyone equally and is inclusive.”
The designer’s roster of friends range from Elton John and Madonna to Lady Gaga, Prince and David Bowie, all fierce upholders of LGBTQ rights. Madonna has fronted three Versace ad campaigns in 1995, 2005 and 2015. The collaboration between Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace dates back to 2011, when the singer decided to wear Versace vintage dresses for “The Edge of Glory” music video. In 2013 she appeared in the brand’s ad campaign for spring 2014, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. Prince famously donned a gold metallic tank top fronting a Versace campaign in 1996, lensed by Richard Avedon, in a gender-bending message, and he performed at the Versace x H&M show in New York in 2011, to name a few of the occasions when his name was linked to that of the designer and her brand.
In addition, Versace will introduce a limited-edition 50th anniversary Stonewall T-shirt available at the brand’s Fifth Avenue boutique and online at versace.com with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Stonewall Day and Pride Live.
Pride Live will host the second annual Stonewall Day, a global campaign to elevate awareness and support for the Stonewall legacy, and on this occasion, it will bring together more than 50 Stonewall Ambassadors, celebrities, activists and community leaders who have worked together over the past 12 months to raise awareness and support for those who fought for equality against intense discrimination and aggression.