The line, launched by Gianni Versace in 1989, is making a comeback with a relaunch package hatched by Versace Group chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio and Donatella Versace, the brand’s creative director.
Despite the recession, Di Risio painted a bullish outlook for Versus, forecasting sales of 700 million euros, or $893 million at current exchange, by 2015 and plans to open 20 stores over the next two years. A runway show is also a future option.
The ceo put Versus on the back burner four years ago to better concentrate on strengthening the signature line, narrowing the company’s debt load and streamlining operations. The Versus brand is now focused on accessories, eyewear licensed to Luxottica and fragrances licensed to Euroitalia.
Versus apparel will return with the women’s spring 2010 collection and will be designed by Donatella Versace, although the company could be close to tapping a designer to work on the collection.
A capsule collection of Versus accessories will be on display here on Sunday during Milan Fashion Week.
“The signature line is now consolidated, global and strong so we felt the time was right to work on Versus, which won’t be a second line but a lower-priced, young luxury brand for a modern, stylish, sensual and futuristic woman,” said Di Risio, sitting in his office in the company’s Via Borgospesso headquarters, which will also house the Versus offices.
Versus’ new course includes a license for apparel for men and women and accessories, inked with the Facchini family, who own the Gruppo Facchini apparel manufacturer. Based near Verona, the 38-year-old Gruppo Facchini, formerly called Swinger International, also owns Byblos.
The Facchinis have established a separate company called VSV to better control Versus’ development, with Mathias Facchini as ceo. “We want to dedicate special energy to this project that targets a market segment that we feel offers important sales prospects,” said the executive.
Di Risio said it is possible Versace might buy a stake in VSV in the future. The price list and distribution network for the brand are still being developed.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion