According to Blackstone Group, I got it wrong. The fund, which owns a 20 percent stake in Versace, maintains it does not now, and has never wanted, to replace Donatella Versace at the company’s creative helm.
“Blackstone has always supported and will continue to support Donatella Versace as artistic director of Versace. Any other speculation is entirely false,” Andrew Dowler, managing director of Blackstone in London, told WWD.
Dowler declined to shed any further light on the Riccardo Tisci situation. It’s common knowledge that the house had for months been in negotiations with the designer, who catapulted to prominence as couturier at Givenchy. It has been reported that Blackstone was in favor of closing the deal, reports Blackstone never disputed. Dowler wouldn’t confirm those reports, nor would he say what kind of role the company had in mind for Tisci if not as Donatella Versace’s replacement.
Whatever it was, the point is now moot. Tisci and the house of Versace are moving on, in separate directions.
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