Last November, Versace announced a new strategy for its little sister line Versus. Christopher Kane would no longer design it, and Versus would never do a runway show again. Going forward, Versus would be a series of collaborations between Versace and "various creative innovators and designers" and have a "strong digital element."
So what does that all mean?
A new video airing exclusively on Fashionista sheds some light on what Versace has in mind for her beloved Versus (she says it's "the first collection my brother Gianni gave to me in complete freedom to do") in advance of the first designer capsule collection for Versus with J.W. Anderson.
For starters, Versace says she's over fashion shows. "I thought it was getting really old to go to a fashion show, to sit down, and then to go on the Internet and see 'What did he do?'" she says. "So that's why I'll never have a fashion show again for Versus. Versus will be shown through events all over the world." As the fashion calendar in every major fashion city gets more and more packed, this seems like a really smart tactic.
The first event, to present the Versus Versace J.W. Anderson Collection, is set for May 15 in New York and will feature a live performance by an as-yet-unnamed artist. We expect a big name though, and probably someone from the rock and roll world, as Versace says she "always connects Versus to rock music" and confesses to be a "music addict." (Versus shows were almost always set to live music in the past.)
As for the "digital element"--this part sounds really exciting. Versus will actually crowd source designs online. "When I'm doing a sketch or a fitting I'll post on the Internet on the website and ask the kids 'Do you like it or not?'--I think the internet community has a good eye," Versace says. "I want everyone to be part of the process."
It's scary to open yourself up to the Internet masses, Versace concedes--"easier to be protected in your studio by your PR and your designers and people to take care of you." (We know how she feels.) But "I really really like this digital world," Versace says.
As for the new Versus Versace collection, it will be comprised of 26 looks, including men's and women's ready to wear and accessories, available online on May 15 on Versace.com. Prices will range from $250 for dresses ($1,250 for a studded leather one) and shoes from $275 (for men's boots) to $545 (for women's high heeled booties).
In the below video, Versace let's slip that cult favorite K-Way will be the next Versus collaborator. We're really liking the new Versus. Take a look.