CHICAGO — After a 16-year hiatus, Versace has returned to Chicago’s Gold Coast, opening a two-story, 4,951-square-foot flagship at 933 North Rush Street. Versace closed its Oak Street store in 2000 and the Italian fashion house said the time off provided much-needed reflection.
“We took a hiatus [from Chicago] because, frankly, we wanted to do some work on the brand. As sometimes happens in luxury, we had overextended and our product was too widely available,” said the firm’s chief executive officer Gian Giacomo Ferraris. “We consolidated — we closed some doors, we developed a new strategic growth plan, we focused on accessories and a few other things. And now we have just completed five straight years of double-digit growth. It’s time to return to Chicago, to show the evolution and growth of the brand to this great city and clientele. We feel that North Rush Street reflects the present luxury customer balancing both the cosmopolitan and local spirit.”
The Chicago boutique follows the same interior design concept introduced at the Versace SoHo store in Manhattan, created by Donatella Versace in collaboration with English architect Jamie Fobert.
Mixing elements of the past and future, the light-filled, bright store features marble mosaic floors inspired by ninth-century Byzantine churches, contemporary gray stone floors, clear Perspex shelving and tables that display the accessories and mannequins, modern lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows. Two strips of recessed white lights illuminate the brass staircase on the way up to the second floor, creating a floating effect.
The boutique features an edited assortment of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. The store also sells a small assortment of Versace Home, such as crystal pieces from its collaboration with Rosenthal and Versace pillows.
There are 21 Versace stores in the U.S., including Chicago.
Dior plans to open a women’s boutique in 2016 and will occupy the storefront next to Versace on Rush Street.