Christopher Kane Leaves Versus Amidst Major Brand Overhaul

Versace‘s diffusion label Versus is going to look very different going forward. WWD reports that the Italian line is in the midst of a major strategy shift that has been in the works since “before summer.” Here’s what is going to change:

1. Christopher Kane, who has held the position of creative director since fall 2010, will part ways with the label. This news will no doubt get the rumor mill churning yet again, since it was only two short days ago that the designer was forced to tell the paper that he will not, in fact, be taking over for Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. In today’s piece, Kane states that he is “excited” about Versus’ new direction, but that “the time has come to dedicate all my focus to the future of the Christopher Kane label.” Meanwhile, the new Versus line will be designed by Donatella Versace and “a number of yet-to-be-named young designers, stylists, and creative talents.”

2. It will be season-less. The collections will not necessarily be unveiled at a fashion week runway show, as in past seasons. Rather, the company is planning a series of events for next year, the first of which will be held in New York in March or April 2013. The output will include capsule collections, limited edition pieces, and brand partnerships, and will be available immediately online thanks to Versace’s in-house production capabilities.

3. It will be heavily digital. Versus will have a stand-alone website by next year, and executives expect much of the brand’s communications will be done online.

4. Menswear and “special items” will be added to the traditional womenswear and accessories offerings. “Perhaps even furniture,” according to CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris. And we all know what Donatella’s taste in furniture is like.


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