We can't even be mad.

By InStyle Staff
Updated Apr 17, 2020 @ 10:00 am
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As the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it, some of fashion's biggest names are moving quickly to respond. Major labels like Christian Siriano have begun channeling their resources into producing protective equipment, while others, including Khaite and Proenza Schouler, are donating to organizations working on the front lines of the crisis.

But when it comes to coping behind (literal) closed doors, many industry players are turning to their beloved pets for comfort.

For our ongoing #emotionalsupportanimals series we’ve been chatting with some of our favorite designers, models, and stylists about the furry friends bringing them joy right now. So far we’ve checked in on Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and his dog Miranda, designer Brandon Maxwell and his adorable pup Stella, and Michael Kors and his cat Mimi De MauMau. Up next? The inimitable Donatella Versace, who has pledged $500,000 to local relief efforts in Milan, and her dog Audrey.

InStyle: How long have you had Audrey and what type of dog is she?

Donatella Versace: Audrey is a Jack Russell Terrier and she is, um…you know, you never reveal the age of a lady!

How did you choose her name?

Audrey has been a most welcome presence in our lives and makes everything so much more … interesting! She is the queen of the house (well at least she thinks she is). I named her after a model I worked with on a shoot with master photographer Richard Avedon who was very opinionated and always said how she thought things should have been done. Saying that she had a strong personality is like using the euphemism of the year! As you can imagine, these were not the easiest moments on set. Audrey, my dog, also has a strong and independent personality. And she thinks she is a model herself. She always manages to get in front of the camera and it’s hilarious to see how she strikes a pose!

Do you ever make Versace dog clothes for Audrey?

We do produce a line of Versace clothing and small accessories for dogs that was born out of the fact that I wanted them for Audrey. But she also has a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces because at the end of the day, she is my one and only.

What are some of your favorite things to do with Audrey?

You mean, what are the things that I do with her because I have no other choice? Jokes aside, she loves watching me while I put on my makeup. She comes into my bathroom and stares so intently. I think she feels a bit of competition…

Well you look amazing in this picture. Do you dress up like this frequently while in isolation? (Most of us are just in pajamas all day.)

Thank you very much! I do like to wear nice things even when I am on my own. For me it is not so much about vanity, but about a mental mode. I enjoy taking care of myself even if no one sees me and that includes wearing nice clothes. It does not have to be a dress, but it could also be a beautiful sweater and leggings. It depends on my mood.

Where was this photo taken? Is this your house?

No, it’s not technically my house. But in a way it is, because it’s the living room of [my late brother] Gianni’s home that I go to from time to time. I have changed a few things over the years, but it has mostly remained as he left it. I have a very special connection to this place and you can easily imagine why.

How has Audrey reacted to this period of self-isolation?

She is definitely enjoying being together more than usual. She usually comes to my office where she has her space while I go from one meeting to the other but she’s never with me like this. I consider myself very lucky to be able to keep on working remotely - and to be in a position that allows me to help those in need. Normally, I do not really like to talk about what I do to help others, but this is a different case. The coronavirus pandemic has hit all of us, all over the world. And those who can help need to set an example and, maybe, inspire others to do the same. It’s not about how big or small your contribution is: What really matters is the fact that you are doing all you can.

Have you found her presence comforting?

To be honest with you, I do not need much comforting. But Audrey has kept me company and that is more than a lot of people have while locked in their homes. My heart goes out to all those that are going through this moment of fear and uncertainty by themselves. I admire how people – as we always do in times like this – have found new ways to stay connected thanks to the tools that technology has given us. If there is a silver lining to what we are going through, it is that we are all being a bit kinder to one another. We no longer take for granted the things we ceased to notice, such as the freedom of seeing each other whenever we wanted. This is a lesson we’ve learnt the hard way, but I hope it stays with us even when this is emergency is over.

Very true. Ending on a lighter note: What’s Audrey’s quarantine diet like?

She loves roasted chicken, however she eats vegetarian food for her own health. I am convinced that she thinks she is human, because at dinner you’ll always find her sitting in a chair at a set table. She cannot accept the fact that she has to eat from a bowl on the floor, while we are all gathered at the table.

The coronavirus pandemic is unfolding in real time, and guidelines change by the minute. We promise to give you the latest information at time of publishing, but please refer to the CDC and WHO for updates.