On September 24th, it was announced that American fashion brand Michael Kors would be purchasing Versace for a whopping $2.12 billion. The Italian luxury brand was founded in 1978 by the late Gianni Versace and was taken over by his younger sister Donatella in 1997. Ever since Versace has continued to be a household name in luxury fashion.
Gianni and Donatella Versace
Versace is not the first luxury brand under Kors's belt. The famed American designer purchased Jimmy Choo in 2017 in efforts to build an empire to compete with LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton (Dior, Givenchy, Fendi) and Kering (Gucci, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga). This will help Kors tremendously, especially after 2017, a "challenging" year that brought plummeting sales and a closing of 100-125 stores.
What does this mean for Versace?
Michael Kors Holdings Limited chief executive and CEO John Idol has worked out a deal with Donatella Versace to expand the brand by releasing accessories and footwear and opening 100 new stores across the globe. The end goal is to increase Versace's revenue to $2 billion.
Michael Kors handbagCharanjit Chana
Donatella will remain Versace's creative director after the sale and will become a shareholder in Michael Kors Holdings Limited—renamed Capri Holdings Limited, after the Italian island—with her brother Santo and her daughter Allegra. The iconic designer stated that joining Kors is "a very exciting moment for Versace" and that she "believe[s] that being part of this group is essential to Versace's long-term success."
Fashion fans infuriated over the Kors/Versace deal
Fashion fans all over the world have taken social media by storm with their opinions on the Kors/Versace deal. Because the Michael Kors brand can be found at affordable retailers like Ross, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx, fans are concerned that the quality of Versace will decrease and that the luxury brand will be sold in these stores (I mean, at least it'll be more attainable... right?). Of the dissatisfied fans is Drake Bell, an actor popular for his role as Drake Parker on the Nickelodeon sitcom, Drake & Josh.
A bit melodramatic, don't you think? According to author Leslie Davis Burns, "The Versace family brings the image, glamour, and identity of the brand to this arrangement. It would be important that this association continues."
As a fashion fiend, I sympathize with all the mixed reactions regarding the sale. However, I find that it'll be good for the luxury brand in the long run. Distributing shoes and accessories under Capri will make the luxury of Versace more available to the everyday consumer, and it'll broaden Versace's horizons as a brand. It's a win-win if you ask me – that is if the glamorous image and marketing of Versace is preserved and isn't rebranded with the "tackiness" of Michael Kors brand, as fans have mentioned.
I'm intrigued to see what the future has in store for Versace. We just don't know what's going to happen.