With all the changes to the fashion calendar — the advent of "see now, buy now," the ever-escalating pre-collection destination runway race, the combining of menswear and womenswear shows — it's no surprise that fashion designers are just as worn out from trying to keep up as the rest of us are. "The calendar is in shambles; I am fed up with this system," Donatella Versace tells WWD. "I think the business model of luxury brands is about to change in a radical way."
But don't take that to mean Versace will be jumping on the bandwagon; she is against many of the changes other designers are trying as a way to streamline their businesses. Versace says she wouldn't want to combine her menswear and womenswear collections because she views them as completely separate entities. Even though she is in the process of changing Versace's style — less baroque, she says — the two retain their own strong identities. The most she would consider, she notes, is showing the two during the same week. "With one show, you would have to use the same fabrics; I don’t want to do that," she explains. "I like more freedom."
Versace does believe, however, that the brand has been a pioneer of the "see now, buy now" movement with Versace capsules and diffusion line Versus. While she doesn't think the brand will ever offer a true shop-the-runway collection, she understands why consumers want things more immediately. "I must say, I believe in it, but for Versus, for lines that are less important, especially for young people on the internet," she says. "We should divide the deliveries into two or three drops, because I don't want to wait either. I see it with myself, and I understand other women."
As to the traveling pre-collections, Versace says she doesn't understand that, either. "I am perplexed — for the press," she explains. "I don’t want people to have to travel too much." (A thousand fashion editors just breathed a sigh of relief.) Instead, Versace brings the international scene to her. Inspired by her recent campaign shoot with Bruce Weber, she recruited plenty of men from places as far flung as Australia, Miami and Asia ("Asia is one of the biggest markets for everybody," she somewhat problematically explains) to walk her upcoming menswear runway in Milan.