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NEW YORK — There’s no telling what fashion must-haves will leave a woman breathless, phoning furiously to get her hands on a sold-out item or even just laying down a credit card for a $6,000 dress.
But this season, it’s clear that Donatella Versace has been the purveyor of some of these high-end impulses. Bergdorf Goodman’s Versace trunk show last week drew scores of customers along with $620,000 in orders.
Despite the blizzard and subsequent rain, shoppers showed up to view the fall collection and put dibs on everything from leather jackets to chiffon evening gowns. “We sold knits, suits and a ton of evening. It’s a very wearable collection,” said Robert Burke, vice president and senior fashion director at Bergdorf’s. “I think that she is making clothes that clearly appeal to a broader cross-section of customers.”
Bestsellers included a ribbon corseted dress for $6,200, a white moleskin coat with lacing detail for $4,400 and a black coat with leather straps for $2,000.
The retailer picked up the Versace collection for fall after a five-year hiatus from the label, and clearly its instincts were, well, on the money.
“Bergdorf’s reaction to this season’s collection was immediate, and they were confident that their customer would respond,” said Donatella Versace. “To do so well at our first trunk show with day clothes and accessories as well as evening is incredibly important to me. They truly know their customer.”
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.