While the twitter rumour mill was imploding at the weekend re rumours of Christopher Kane heading to Balenciaga (no offence, but we really hope not), it appears that this rumour was fuelled in part by reality. And, more importantly, Versace are taking digital as their main driver. Wake up other global brands and fast. With other big players like Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Stella McCartney at the forefront of digital media and blogger liaison, your time is almost upon you.
Gruppo Versace Spa announced today their repositioning of the Versus line which means bye-bye Christopher at the helm of the label that was always seen as the ‘energetic, younger’ line. It appears that Versace are re-focussing Versus towards new industry trends and to capture market opportunities, the key driver of which is digital.
The official Versace statement reads, “Digital is the new, key word that describes the Versus tribe. Versus is the young heart, soul and spirit of Versace. Under Donatella Versace’s creative leadership, there will be collaborations with young designers, stylists, and creatives from different walks of life, to develop capsule collections, co-branding projects, limited editions. This pool of young creative talents will replace the collaboration with Christopher Kane who will focus on the development of his own line.” So, no move to Balenciaga as anticipated, then?
New collections are to be introduced via presentation-events, which won’t necessarily coincide with the traditional catwalk format during fashion weeks. The first of such events is planned for March/April 2013 in New York.
New procedures and timing for product development, production and distribution of the collections, which will evolve to a non-seasonal schedule. Distribution will be developed through new direct stores, franchising agreements, multi-brand and department stores, as well as a digital flagship store.
“This is a very exciting development for Versus, and I’m thrilled to be engaged in such a major shake-up of the fashion world’s rules, “said Donatella Versace. “I want to thank Christopher for his contribution to Versus over 6 seasons, during which I have been able to appreciate his extraordinary talent. Working with young talented people, and see them grow and develop as I have seen Christopher do over these years, is one of the most rewarding parts of my work. I wish him all the best for the development of his own line. He will always have my total support.”
Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Chief Executive Officer of Versace SpA said “Digital is changing our world, and we want to be the first to seize the opportunities.”
My next question is what other brands will follow their lead with their diffusion ranges? Watch this space.
S/S’13 images of Versus collection kindly supplied by www.style.com. To see more catwalk collections, simply click on the link.