MILAN — Gianni Versace SpA said English-Sri Lankan recording artist M.I.A. is set to create a capsule collection for Versus. This confirms a WWD report on Sept. 26.
This story first appeared in the October 8, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
M.I.A. has created 19 pieces inspired by a number of counterfeit Versace items found in London markets. Different variations on Versace’s iconic designs, such as the Medusa head or the Greek frieze, are mixed with “graphic prints with street energy,” the Italian fashion company said. “Prints with gold medallions are reminiscent of the frenzy typical of the [market] stands.”
The collaboration includes pieces for men and women, from T-shirts and printed jeans to silk skirts, jersey dresses and jackets and outerwear inspired by the military world.
“I adore the energy of the street, so when M.I.A. proposed to expose the issue of counterfeit Versace pieces by creating a collaboration inspired by these items, I thought it was an incredible idea,” said Donatella Versace. “The collection represents all that I love of the new Versus Versace: It’s fast, it’s noisy, it’s brazen and it blends the world of music with that of fashion. I can’t wait to see it worn.”
Last year, the Milan-based firm began repositioning Versus as a seasonless line with a strong digital element to be designed by Donatella Versace in collaboration with a number of young designers, stylists and creative talents to interpret the brand. The first was London designer J.W. Anderson.
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“The theme of counterfeits, of those that produce and sell them, has always been part of the culture of M.I.A.,” said the Grammy Award-winner. “When I was contacted by Versace, it seemed a great idea to invert the circle. Versace’s designs have always been copied, now it’s Versace that copies the copies, so those that copy must copy the copies. So this will continue.”
The launch will be accompanied by a GIF digital campaign set in East London markets featuring M.I.A. and shot by Mexican photographer Jaime Martinez.
M.I.A. x Versus Versace will be available online and in a number of selected stores beginning Oct. 16.
M.I.A.’s new album, “Matangi,” is due out Nov. 5, to be preceded by a performance in New York on Nov. 3.