After the graduation from Florence University in the Seventies, Donatella joined Gianni's fledgling fashion company as a fashion designer.
I created this tough image, but inside I was vulnerable.
'But I also think Madonna was an influence in the Nineties. I think she’s the most amazing, talented woman around. Prince, obviously, is someone I’ve been close to also.
The designer, who also admitted to receiving treatment for cocaine addiction in 2005 - and booked herself into rehab after Elton John's intervention, may surround herself with a revolving cast of 'in' talent, but she keeps one thing the same - her signature look.
From her days as her late brother Gianni's 'muse and critic' back in 1993, through to Lady Gaga's inspiration in 2015 (Gaga wrote the song Donatella from her 2013 album Artpop for her), her image is one that has stood the test of time.
Yet she revealed to Harpers Bazaar the pain and worry of that time.