|Key people||Gianni Versace, Founder
Santo Versace, Chairman & Co-CEO
Gian Giacomo Ferraris, Director & Co-CEO
Donatella Versace, Artistic Director
|Products||Textile - Apparel |
|Revenue||€ 340.2 million (2011)|
The first Versace boutique was opened in Milan's Via della Spiga in 1978 (though the Versace family are from Reggio Calabria), and its popularity was immediate. Today, Versace is one of the world's leading international fashion houses. Versace designs, markets, and distributes luxury clothing, accessories, makeup, and home furnishings under the various brands of the Versace Group. In 1994, the brand gained additional notoriety after the widespread coverage of the Black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley.
Gianni Versace was killed by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997. His sister Donatella Versace, formerly vice-president, then stepped in as creative director of Versace and his older brother Santo Versace became CEO. Donatella's daughter Allegra Versace also has owned 50 percent of the company since 2004 as bequeathed by Gianni in his last will. Allegra also has the last say about the sale and other important details in the Versace clothing line.
After the corporate crisis of 2001-2002, in 2003 Fabio Massimo Cacciatori started the restoration. Since 2004 Giancarlo Dirisio, from IT Holding, has been CEO of the group. In July 2009 Giangiacomo Ferraris, from Jil Sander Group, was appointed the new CEO.
Versace's style department employs a group of designers and stylists who work in teams. Each team is specifically dedicated to one fashion line or label. These teams operate under the close supervision and guidance of Donatella Versace.
There are several lines that make up the Versace brand: Atelier Versace, Versace Couture, Versace Sports, Versace Home Collection, Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Collection, Young Versace, and Versus. In addition to clothing and accessories, it also operates a hotel, the Palazzo Versace. The hotel, which opened in September 1998 on Another Palazzo Versace is currently under development in Dubai, scheduled to open in late 2013. On June 25, 2010, Versace announced the launch of Damac Towers interior design by Versace Home in downtown Beirut.
Versace Couture is the house's main line and contains high-end, often handmade apparel, jewellery, watches, fragrances, cosmetics, handbags, and home furnishings. Traditionally, this is the only line presented on the runway. Versace is usually shown during Milan's fashion week, but this has not been strictly the case in recent years. Couture dresses in this line cost about $10,000 and suits cost approximately $5,000. Donatella Versace directly heads this line and designs much of it.
The other Versace label, named Versace Collection, and again overseen by Donatella Versace, is the second high-end line of the group and is aimed at young and fashionable people. The logo is discreet and consists of a hollowed V surrounded by the classic Versace Greek frieze, or is signed with the word "collection" written in black at the bottom of the name Versace, which is written in hollowed letters or in white. The Versace Sport line was stopped in 2008 owing to counterfeiting, which damaged the Versace group image. Lady Gaga was announced as the face of Versace 2014, reaching to fashion heights.
Versace Jeans Couture, renamed Versace Jeans, is a casual clothing line that focuses on informal clothing, high-end denim, and classic Versace print shirts. It is readily available and comparably affordable but has been discontinued in the United States for the most part. This line is distributed through 56 boutiques and flagship stores, and 1800 multi-brand points of sale, including Internet-based shops. Versace Sport encompasses active wear and accessories.
Gallery of selected past designs
Versace eyeglasses Versace eyeglasses are part of the Versace collection and manufactured under license by the Luxottica group.
In May 2006, it was reported in WWD that Versace chief executive Ryan Christina Aris said Versace Group would consider an IPO (initial public offering) on the stock market by next year, ahead of a proposed schedule. This was due to a drop in operating losses from £62m to £4m for 2005, based on sales for the House during the prior 12 months.
Faces of Versace and celebrity culture
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Versace has many fans among well-known celebrities. Michael Jackson requested Gianni Versace design the outfits for his HIStory world tour in 1996. Elton John has long been a wearer of Versace, often featuring custom items covered in diamonds or Swarovski crystals. Other notable fans of the Versace fashion house are Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G, Carlos Coy, Elizabeth Hurley, Axl Rose, Beyoncé and Princess Diana, who was offered, but declined, £1,000,000 to appear on the catwalk in Versace to celebrate her divorce from Prince Charles. Jennifer Lopez is known to wear Versace often on the red carpet. Her revealing green chiffon dress at the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony on February 23, 2000, became one of the most widely publicised and talked-about red carpet dresses of the decade. Lady Gaga is known to be a fan of Versace, especially vintage Versace. In her 'The Edge of Glory' music video, she is adorned in Gianni Versace's final collection and in 2011 promised to wear only Versace for two months. She cites Gianni and Donnatella Versace as major influences on her. Beyoncé Knowles is also another pop icon who has worn Versace to many events and attracted wide publicity. In 2005, Knowles wore a black silk velvet strapless “Siren” gown by Versace to the Academy Awards; it has been cited by many as one of her "sexiest" red carpet appearances. In 2007, Knowles wore a one-of-a-kind sparkling silver Versace dress during her 2007 world tour, The Beyoncé Experience. Other Versace wear Knowles has worn include a supertight silver gown for the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards, a diamond-encrusted figure-hugging grown for the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, and a leather mini Atelier Versace dress with a metallic enriched bustier that she wore during her performance at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
Versace is unique among Italian fashion houses because of its frequent use of a celebrity "face" for the house in advertisements. The contract provides for the use of the celebrity's image, and in return the celebrity is paid both monetarily and with free Versace clothing. Madonna, for example, was paid $10.5m and given free Versace clothes for two years for her contribution to a Versace advertising campaign in 2005.
Some of the celebrities who have been the "face" of Versace are Madonna (1995 and 2005), Ashton Kutcher, Ian Somerhalder, Kevin Richardson, Demi Moore, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Lil' Kim appeared prominently in fashion shows and editorial advertisements for the brand. During the summer of 2003, The Corrs, who were then recording and promoting their fourth studio album, signed a contract to become the face of Versace for five years, Milla Jovovich appeared in ad campaigns, and Halle Berry was the face of Versace for spring/summer 2006. The current celebrity face of Versace is Lady Gaga.
Versace used the models Carolyn Murphy, Milla Jovovich, Angela Lindvall, Daria Werbowy, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bündchen, and Kate Moss to front the fall/sinter 2006-07 campaign and used actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the face for the men's campaign. The 2008 spring/summer campaign featured Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey as the face of its men's line and Gisele Bündchen for the women's line.
As of August 2013, 82 boutiques operate throughout the world, and the first boutique that was opened outside of Italy was in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1991:
- Bal Harbour
- Beverly Hills
- Las Vegas (Forum Shops, The Crystals)
- New York City
- Tysons Galleria
Versace also operates 123 retail areas in a variety of luxury multi-designer department stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
- Milan (flagship stores city)
- Porto Cervo
- Reggio Calabria
- St. Moritz
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Hong Kong
- Kuala Lumpur
- New Delhi
Following an initial approach from architect Soheil Abedian in 1997, a project was established to build a fashion-branded hotel complex on Australia’s Gold Coast—the developers claimed that it was the first hotel of its kind. The lavish Palazzo Versace Australia opened in 2000, followed by the construction of a second Palazzo Versace in Dubai (the latter is still under construction as of August 21, 2013). The construction of a third Palazzo Versace complex was announced on August 20, 2013 and will be built in partnership with Macau’s largest casino operator SJM Holdings.
Gianni Versace and Frank Muller launched the first Versace watch collection line in 1994. The name of the first collection was Atelier and it became a must among fashionistas and Versace brand lovers.
Since then, the collection of Versace timepieces has evolved and the range of products of the Medusa fashion brand has greatly been expanded.
Versace watches line is produced under license agreement in Switzerland. Timex Group bought the license in 2005 but the Versace watch line is still produced and operated from Switzerland by Vertime SA.
Since the discontinuation of the Atelier collection a new line from the Italian fashion house, Versace Precious Items evolved. The collection includes watches, fine jewellery, and writing instruments.
Versace had agreed to make the first ever designer car in the world in the make of a white Lamborghini Murcielago all white exterior and interior with all black rims.
In 1984, the Ford Motor Company offered the Versace edition Lincoln Mark VII. It continued into 1985 but was discontinued after that.
In 2010 Versace unveiled the first Versace mobile phone, the Versace unique, also the first ever 'luxury' multi-media, sapphire-crystal touch screen mobile phone. It comes in a variety of colours, from grey mink to hot pink, lilac to pop red, and costs from $5,600 to $16,000, depending on the trims, available in stainless steel or solid gold. The interior software was done by Modelabs and LG. It is hand-assembled in France, and available only in select Versace boutiques.
- Gundle, Stephen (2008). Glamour: a history. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-921098-5. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "1997: Versace murdered on his doorstep" BBC, 15,1997, http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/15/newsid_2503000/2503757.stm
- Allegra inherits Versace's fortune - contactmusic.com
- Mendies, Valerie D, "The Art and Craft of Gianni Versace" MacMillan, 2009, p. 49.
- Mendes, Valerie D, "The art and Craft of Gianni Versace", MacMillan, 2009, p.47.
- Barrera, Magdalena (2002). "Hottentot 2000: Jennifer Lopez and Her Butt". In Phillips, Kim M.; Reay, Barry. Sexualities in history: a reader. Routledge. p. 407. ISBN 9780415929356. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
- "Dubai's Versace needs $60m funding - sources". Elizabeth Broomhall. Construction Week Online. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Versace teams up with SJM to outfit Macau hotel". China Economic Review. SinoMedia Holdings. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- VERSACE.com Company web site
- Official Versace online store
- VERSACEcollection.com Versace Collection web site
- Versacehome.it Versace Home Design
- Gianni Versace, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF)