In the heart of Milan Fashion Week, a city renowned for its style and glamour, a powerful voice spoke out against injustice, capturing the hearts of fashion enthusiasts and activists alike. Donatella Versace, the iconic Italian fashion designer, used her platform to denounce Italy’s far-right government and its restrictive policies targeting LGBTQ+ individuals.
At the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards, the crowd rose to their feet in applause as Donatella Versace delivered a passionate speech condemning the government’s assault on the rights of same-sex couples.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s new government has rolled out a series of laws that curtail the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. These include measures preventing the registration of most children with same-sex parents and extending a nationwide ban on surrogacy for same-sex couples. Even seeking surrogacy abroad has been criminalized, carrying the threat of imprisonment and hefty fines.
In her powerful speech, Versace voiced her deep concerns about the government’s attempts to limit individual freedoms and dictate how people live their lives. She emphasized the fundamental right to walk down the street without fear, regardless of one’s identity, and the freedom to love and create a family. Versace did not shy away from addressing the violence faced by transgender individuals and the discrimination experienced by children of same-sex couples.
“Our government is trying to take away people’s rights to live as they wish; they are restricting our freedoms,” Versace declared. “The freedom to walk down the street with our heads held high and without fear, regardless of identity. The freedom to build a family and live as one wishes. The freedom to love whom one wishes. We all have to fight for freedom.”
Versace was at the event to accept the Humanitarian Award for Equity and Inclusivity, and she shared the stage with Alessandro Zan, an Italian left-wing politician and LGBTQ+ activist.
During her speech, Versace also shared a deeply personal story about her brother Gianni, who came out as gay when he was just 11 years old. She emphasized that her brother’s sexuality changed nothing for her; she loved him unconditionally.
The CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards brought together luminaries from the world of fashion, including Oscar winners Julianne Moore and Jessica Chastain, as well as supermodels Bianca Balti and Coco Rocha. This star-studded event celebrated individuals and brands dedicated to sustainability in the fashion industry.
In a world where influential figures often shy away from controversial issues, Donatella Versace stood her ground, using her influence to shed light on pressing matters. As a fashion icon and advocate for freedom and inclusivity, she continues to inspire others to use their platforms for meaningful change.