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.
Breaking: @cushnieetochs’ co-founders @carlycushnie and @ochsmichelle are parting ways. After a 10-year run, Ochs is leaving the brand. Get the full story on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
@maybelline’s Kanako Takase had snow bunnies in mind when creating the beauty look for @philipppleininternational. Playing off of the bedazzled snowboards in the collection, Takase mixed two highlighters together for a luminous sheen. #wwdbeauty #nyfw (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
“There’s a huge gap between the old way of doing things and today. It takes the youth to help evolve that. You have to count on the kids today to help lead you into the future. A lot of these retailers are stuck in the past. Communication is the biggest thing,” said @ronniefieg of @kith on the youth’s role in retail. On Monday night, Jeff Staple moderated a keynote session with Fieg and @syresmith at Assembly - a series of workshops, talks and keynotes addressing topics or issues in the apparel industry. Head to WWD.com to read more advice from Fieg and what Smith thinks of his dad @willsmith’s Instagram account and sustainability (📷: @weston.wells)
@joansmalls closed the @michaelkors fall 2018 show in black sequined pants and a varsity T printed with 19 on the front and 81 on the back. 1981 – the year Kors went into business. #wwdfashion #nfyw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“You think your life is going to be a certain way, and nothing you thought would happen ends up happening. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be designing clothes and working with Mickey Drexler, and building something I’m deeply proud of,” said Jenna Lyons. Nine months after leaving @jcrew, Lyons is exploring the meaning of happiness. Read the interview, where Lyons talks about reinvention and more on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Farrell) #jennalyons #jcrew