Details: Last night at dinner, I sat next to this beautiful divorced woman who was telling me she’s having a really hard time finding a nice guy—a guy who’s a gentleman. Obviously, you’re a very powerful, famous woman, and you’re intimidating. Do men behave well around you?
Donatella Versace: They do, but I feel they’d rather deal with a woman who is less powerful. Powerful women intimidate men. If she’s a really well-known woman, she has a career, she’s famous—in that case, men are really afraid.
Details: Do men need to be more aggressive? Do you like for a guy to chase you? What appeals to you?
DV: A guy should be a little bit aggressive, just showing he’s interested.
Details: Guys are scared to do that. It’s hard to know when a woman is interested.
DV: I could ask you for your phone number. “Can I call you tomorrow?” Life is so short. You have to take a risk, just to ask if I can see you for a coffee tomorrow. Why not ask her?
Details: There have been a lot of stories in the media about the metrosexual. Now people are talking about something called a machosexual—they’re saying women like the idea of a bad boy, the type of guy who’s going to be polite and can still dress himself but is maybe a little edgy, like George Clooney.
DV: I would not agree with that. I think that kind of attitude is over. I think men know to seduce women though words and conversation and nice gestures. That’s much sexier than when a man uses muscle.
Details: Some guys think that if you’re a bit of an asshole, it’s sexy.
DV: That can be sexy to women with no education, maybe. But with somebody who’s well-educated, it’s not sexy at all, believe me. Actually, you can destroy a feeling, if it was ever there.
Details: That’s good to know. Do you think that our society is moving away from glamour?
DV: Elegance is always in style for men. There are all different kinds of elegance. It can be silk, it can be a T-shirt. But everybody has a style. Put on something you really feel comfortable in: That’s your style. But glamour today is soft, sophisticated—not loud like it used to be.
Details: A lot of men look at pictures of Brad Pitt and kind of model themselves after him, but it takes a certain level of confidence to recognize your own style—it’s hard to trust your instincts.
DV: Style is the details in an outfit. Give me a T-shirt under a suit—it’s a great style for men.
Details: Are guys in danger of becoming too vain?
DV: This is not a bad thing. You want to take care of yourself with your skin and your body—it’s a form of respect toward other people.