When Gianni Versace was murdered in 1997, his fashion house was worth something like $2 billion, with annual sales of $550 million.
In 2009, the house of Versace garnered about $380 million in sales, and lost about $40 million.
In just a decade, the Italian fashion house went from big industry player to tiny–but still shining–star. However, Versace’s new(ish) CEO–Jil Sander and Gucci alum Gian Giacomo Ferraris– told Reuters at BASELWORLD, Switzerland’s annual watch fair, that the company is on the track to profitability in 2011.
If it does get make a profit next year, will Versace finally go public, or find a bigger investor to bring it back to its former glory?
Unlikely, according to Ferraris: “With this plan, there is no urgency (for any family members to sell). This plan will guarantee the cashflow to run the business without any interference,” Ferraris said.
Deborah Ball, author of House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival, told me last month in Milan that without outside funding, it will never reach its full potential.
“Versace is a niche brand with a massive image,” she said.