MILAN — Versus bows at Versace’s historic Via Gesù headquarters here Sunday, marking the company’s drive to turn the collection into a distinct and relevant brand.
“This is the first [Versus] show at the palazzo since we’ve taken production in-house, it’s like the birth of a baby or a first day at school,” said Versace chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris. Earlier this year, the company bought back the Versus license from Swinger International SpA. Ferraris is proud of Versace’s integrated production platform in Novara, Italy, and the spring 2012 season is the first produced in-house.
The ceo said the company is taking the line back to the fundamentals established by house founder Gianni Versace.
“The line will give a boost to the firm, and strength to grow,” he said. Retail prices range between 190 and 690 euros, or $260 and $944 at current exchange, making it more accessible, he added. The collection is aimed at a young customer looking for “a trendy, rock ’n’ roll” style.
Sales currently total 6 million euros, or $8.2 million. Ferraris plans to “at least” double this figure in 2012, and grow it fourfold in the next five years.
The company is also looking at turning what was a wholesale and franchised business into a more directly controlled one, investing in its own stores. Versus boutiques are scheduled to open in two key locations in 2012, Milan and London. There are two existing doors in Hong Kong and Las Vegas.
“I’m going back to my roots,” said Donatella Versace, whose first creative role at the family-owned firm was at Versus. She described the customer as a “different girl” who likes to “play, clash and contrast.”
Versace said the collaboration with Christopher Kane, who has been working with the designer on the line for five seasons, yields interesting outcomes. “I like to discuss. We have a totally different language,” she explained. “That’s how fashion’s done.”
“They are putting up a huge production for this collection,” said Kane about the show on Sunday. “Versus was always [Donatella Versace’s] baby, Gianni gifted her with it and I’m honored to be working on it.”
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