Gianni Versace was first exposed to fashion through his mother who ran her own dressmaking business in Italy. Versace went to work for her before moving in Milan in 1972 where he designed his first prêt-à-porter collections for Callaghan, Genny and Complice. Versace drew on the rich history and iconography of Italy and reinterpreted familiar images into his designs. The medusa head became a signature Versace element that is still used today. He never compromised his exquisite dressmaking skills while breaking the traditional rules of fashion. Gianni Versace understood the power of alliances with celebrities and as Anna Wintour told The New York Times, "Versace was the first to realize the value of celebrity in the front row, and the value of the supermodel, and put fashion on an international media platform."