Donatella Versace is grateful for social media because it has helped her show her true self to the world.

The 61-year-old designer - who took over control of the Versace fashion house after her brother Gianni was shot dead outside his Miami beach home in July 1997 - is thankful for the phenomenon because sites like Instagram have helped her shed her ''cold'' public persona.

She explained: ''I used to have this image that was very cold, off-putting. People didn't feel close to me. Now it is different. They see that I can be open, laughing, joking on Instagram.''

The blonde trend-setter even admitted that using social media is vital to her creative process because it has allowed her to keep in touch youth culture and as well as email, she checks her devices first thing in the morning.

Donatella - who is the label's artistic director and the vice president of Versace - told the new issue of W Magazine: ''Social media has become essential to my work because fashion is a blend of many things: what young people are doing, what they would like to do, their dreams. I absorb all this information, and then I present it as fashion.'' Versace clothes are more wearable now because life has changed.

She added: ''I wake up and check all my devices. Cling cling! Email. Italian phone. American phone, iPad. I leave everything on at night. I want to know what is happening.''

Donatella says if she hadn't followed in the family footsteps and become a fashion mogul she'd have loved to have been a rock star.

She added: ''I would like to be a rock star, if I had talent. But I don't. So maybe an image maker. I would like to take some talented person and make him or her into a star.''