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Versus is the diffusion line of Italian luxury fashion house Versace. It began in 1989 as the first diffusion lines by the house, a gift by the founder Gianni Versace to his sister, Donatella Versace. After closing in 2005, Donatella resurrected it in 2009 with a capsule collection of accessories designed by emerging British designer Christopher Kane. The brand is now very famous for its stylish analogue watches, leather accessories and chic ready-to-wear.
Created for those who want to evolve their own individual style, Gianni Versace introduced Versus in 1989 describing it as, "Versus was born with an innate creative approach, with a strong focus on innovation, flair and the unconventional. An artistic force that takes present fashion forward, anticipating new trends and embracing challenge".
The following Versus collections of fashion, accessories, eyewear, watches, and fragrances proved to be an enormous success with a strong public following who were turned into its distinctive 'rock-chic' style.
Today Versus is well known as Versace's second line and as a brand. It is worn by many celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Cheryl Cole, Leighton Meester, Miranda Cosgrove and Alexa Chung, and featured in and on the cover of many high-profile Fashion and lifestyle international magazines like Vogue, InStyle, ELLE and Glamour.
After the success of Gianni, Versace SpA in the early and mid 1980s, the company's founder Gianni Versace created the house's first diffusion line, Versus, as a gift to Donatella, his sister, muse, and vice-president of the company. He described it: "Versus was born with an innate creative approach, with a strong focus on innovation, flair and the unconventional. An artistic force that takes present fashion forward, anticipating new trends and embracing challenge."
The first fashion show was presented in Milan in 1990. Between 1995 and 2003, each season's collection of ready-to-wear, accessories, eye wear, and watches were presented in New York during New York Fashion Week. Versus was known for its distinctive rock-chic look that Donatella favoured and still influences the houses main line collections today. Versus grew to include menswear, fragrances, and its own (sub) diffusion line, Versus sport, headed by Versace's life partner, Antonio D'Amico. During 2004, when the company was facing a downturn in profits, Versus was reduced to a limited collection of accessories, eventually being shut down with the final show; the menswear spring/summer 2005.
In 2009, Donatella Versace began a stylistic collaboration with English designer Christopher Kane, marking the re-launch of the brand in February 2009 with a special capsule of accessories, distributed through selected multibrand stores. After working with Kane, M.I.A. created a capsule collection. In December 2013, Versace announced that Anthony Vaccarello will create a capsule collection for Versus.
Christopher Kane (2009–12)
Having acted as a consultant at Versace after Donatella acclaimed his MA collection for Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Donatella invited Scottish designer Christopher Kane to re-launch the line with her in February 2009 with a capsule collection of handbags, shoes and jewellery. For spring/summer 2010, Kane presented 16 dresses for the line at Milan Fashion Week. He has since presented two other collections for the line, fall/winter 2009/2010 and most recently spring/summer 2011, his first official runway collection at Milan Fashion Week.
Donatella has likened Kane to her brother, the late Gianni Versace. Since his death in 1997, she has become the creative director of the house's main line Gianni Versace couture and other surviving diffusion lines. She said of Kane: ""Christopher reminds me of my brother Gianni when he was young, he has the same energy. That is why I asked him to work on Versus. It was the first collection that my brother Gianni let me work on, on my own, so it's very precious to me."
J.W. Anderson (2013–present)
Irish designer J.W. Anderson began collaborating with Versus in 2013. Anderson launched his own label in 2008.
There are several lines of watches that are made in various materials. There are lines in many colors for adults, boys and girls: strong colors such as yellow, blue, red, green. The sporty character of all the models is confirmed by their water resistance up to five atmospheres.
Along with the re-launch of Versus, Versace introduced a fragrance to the line, entitled Versus. Donatella said of it: "Versus is pure energy. I wanted a perfume which would express the strong contrast of a romantic yet tough femininity. This intense fragrance is dedicated to the woman who loves to dare." It is a confident blend of fruits and flower, with citrus, kumquat and star apple. The bottle is of striking purple and white design. The model Lara Stone is the face of the ad campaign shot by Craig McDean.
- Turra, Alessandra (20 December 2013). "Anthony Vaccarello Links Up With Versus". WWD. Retrieved 20 December 2013.