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Versus to Relaunch Apparel

Versace brand to launch women's in September.

MILAN — Donatella Versace is pushing ahead with Versus.

This story first appeared in the August 28, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The first women’s ready-to-wear collection of the resurrected brand will be unveiled during Milan Fashion Week in September with a “dynamic presentation,” according to a spokeswoman.

The line is currently being sold in Versus’ new Milan showroom. “It’s very rock ’n’ roll and sexy,” said Donatella Versace, creative director. “The collection reflects Versus’ DNA and is aimed at young people who want to dress with their own style but like to evolve and break new ground.”

Versus was launched in 1989 as a young and spunky line designed by Donatella Versace under her late brother Gianni’s supervision. It was discontinued in 2005 when Giancarlo Di Risio, Versace’s former chief executive officer, developed a strategy to streamline operations and costs.

Clearly believing the time was right for a relaunch of the label, Versace in February presented a capsule collection of glitzy and edgy Versus accessories designed by Christopher Kane.

Gruppo Facchini’s newly created VSV division produces both the clothing line and the accessories. The line targets what the company calls “Young Hollywood,” or customers aged between 20 and 30.

In February, Di Risio said he expected Versus’ sales to reach 700 million euros, or $984 million at current exchange, by 2015. A spokeswoman said the spring collection was well received, especially by Asian and Middle Eastern buyers. She confirmed plans to open 20 boutiques by the end of 2010, adding the first will be in China, though the timing and location are still being finalized.