A discreet, driven executive, Bazin had joined Dior from Chanel, where he held a variety of positions in leather goods marketing and product development, ultimately rising to merchandising director at Chanel fashion. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also worked at Hermès, Procter & Gamble and Cassina. At Dior, he managed the creation, product development, merchandising and product strategies for leather goods, accessories and shoes.
The hire suggests that Versace is gearing up for an expansion push under Capri Holdings, formerly Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., which snapped up the Italian fashion house for $2.1 billion, or 1.8 billion euro, last September. Kors purchased Jimmy Choo in 2017 for $1.2 billion, its first volley in constructing a conglomerate.
“With the acquisition of Versace, we have now created one of the leading global fashion luxury groups in the world,” John Idol, chairman and ceo of Capri, said at the time. “The acquisition of Versace is an important milestone for our group. Versace was founded in 1978. For over 40 years, Versace has represented the epitome of Italian fashion luxury, a testament to the brand’s timeless heritage.…With the full resources of our group, we believe that Versace will grow to over $2 billion in revenues.”
Known for its glamorous gowns, bold prints on silk and other maximalist designs, Versace posted revenues of 668 million euros in 2017, with 64 percent, or 427.9 million euros, streaming in from its directly operated stores. Ready-to-wear pulled in most of those brick-and-mortar sales, with a tally of 220.7 million euros. Accessories generated another 185.9 million euros.
Building Versace’s leather goods business is seen as a key thrust for Capri, which had revealed ambitions to expand accessories and footwear to 60 percent of sales, up from roughly 35 percent now.
Capri plans to leverage Versace’s brand recognition, runway momentum and Donatella Versace’s star power and popularity on social media. The plan is to ramp up e-commerce development and add 100 stores for a total of roughly 300.