DUBAI // Italian designer Donatella Versace made an appearance at her eponymous label’s three boutiques in Dubai Mall.
Clad in a figure-hugging cocktail dress and towering latticed leather booties, the 58-year-old spent time chatting to staff and admiring the layout of the luxury stores.
A crowd of fans and surprised shoppers followed the celebrity’s buggy as it drove from Versace Fine Jewellery to Versace Fashion and Versace Home.
“I really didn’t expect Dubai to be so full of energy,” she said “I’ve absolutely enjoyed my trip to Dubai so far, but I’m just very sorry it’s a short trip, so sad.”
Versace flew in to town for the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience, sponsored by fashion tome Vogue Italia and Emaar.
More than 250 brands took part in the fashion showcase, which saw catwalk shows, retrospectives and exhibit stands dotted around the mall.
The one-day event culminated in a celebrity-studded gala dinner at the Armani/Pavilion downtown, with proceeds going to Dubai Cares.
In attendance were industry executives, Italian television personalities and supermodels Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova.
Joining Versace were fellow designers Roberto Cavalli, Silvia Fendi and Phillip Plein.
During her mall tour, when asked if she was looking forward to the soiree, Versace revealed she’d be dressing up for the occasion.
“I’ll be wearing a haute couture dress,” she said “Probably black and Versace, of course.”
During her brief sejour, Versace managed to squeeze in a site visit to Palazzo Versace, the five-star hotel being built near Dubai Creek.
Having originally been scheduled to launch in 2009, the designer said the Dh2.3billion development was almost finished.
“I went there to see it yesterday and I can tell you it will be open in 2014.”