Why Versace for H&M Almost Didn't Happen, the Celebs Donatella Wants to Dress, and Her 'Singing' Debut at Tonight's Runway Show

It's less than two weeks until the Versace for H&M collection hits stores on November 19, but the party to introduce the collection officially kicks off tonight. Donatella Versace is here in New York prepping for tonight's epic runway show and party, and WWD caught up with the designer to talk about the collection and what we can expect from tonight's Prince and Nicki Minaj and celeb-filled spectacular. Versace for H&M hype may be reaching fever pitch now, but the collab almost didn't happen.
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It's less than two weeks until the Versace for H&M collection hits stores on November 19, but the party to introduce the collection officially kicks off tonight. Donatella Versace is here in New York prepping for tonight's epic runway show and party, and WWD caught up with the designer to talk about the collection and what we can expect from tonight's Prince and Nicki Minaj and celeb-filled spectacular. Versace for H&M hype may be reaching fever pitch now, but the collab almost didn't happen.
Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

It's less than two weeks until the Versace for H&M collection hits stores on November 19, but the party to introduce the collection officially kicks off tonight. Donatella Versace is here in New York prepping for tonight's epic runway show and party, and WWD caught up with the designer to talk about the collection and what we can expect from tonight's Prince and Nicki Minaj and celeb-filled spectacular.

Versace for H&M hype may be reaching fever pitch now, but the collab almost didn't happen. H&M originally approached Versace two years ago, but Donatella turned them down. "I wanted to work to stabilize the main collection everywhere in the world," Versace said. "We were strong in most places, but other places we had to work." Once the company turned around a bit, Donatella committed, and the rest is history. (Or at least it will be after November 19, when the collection hits stores and will no doubt sell out.)

As far as tonight's runway and musical spectacular is concerned, Versace definitely has some surprises in store. A warehouse on the Hudson on Pier 57 here in NYC will be transformed into the "Versace for H&M Hall on the Hudson" and we hear it will look like the Versace show venue in Milan, complete with mirrored walls. We already know that Nicki Minaj and Prince will perform (DYING), but it turns out that Donatella will be a part of the musical entertainment, too. Sort of.

Her distinctive voice, speaking in English, is mixed into a runway track. Versace told WWD, "It's the funniest thing because I can't sing. I'm going to say, 'Nicki and Prince, your time is over. It's all about me!"

Versace also discussed the label's new popularity. While she credits Lady Gaga for dipping into the brands archives and wearing Versace for two videos, she'd love to dress some starlets that we wouldn't consider obvious Versace customers: Kristen Stewart, Carey Mulligan and Elizabeth Olsen.

Donatella said, "It's in the air. Absolutely. I feel it--it's a very Versace moment." Indeed. We can't wait.