Versace. What a word. Even someone who is completely oblivious to the goings-on of the fashion world has heard of Versace. It’s one of the most influential and globally recognised fashion labels, making it’s mark back in the early 80s and taking the 90s by storm. It’s an exciting time when such a big name can be added to your (already impressive) brand portfolio, and it was this week that we welcomed the first drop from the Versus Versace AW15 collection.
Versus is the sister brand (or diffusion line) of Versace, created as a gift from founder Gianni Versace to his little sister Donatella. We all know Donatella, she’s as notorious as the brand she now directs. Her rebellious ‘rock n roll soul’ inspired the line, building a collection around her radical and unconventional style. The 90s clubbing scene was where Versus Versace was born, offering a strange mix of safety pins and wild exotic prints to the younger Versace cliental. Donatella was (still is) a pop culture icon, enrolling many of her celebrity associates, the likes of Madonna and Liz Hurley, to dress in her radical new label. It became an instant success.
In ’97 Gianni Versace was tragically killed outside his Miami Mansion, and so the reigns of his empire were handed over to his close family members, with his sister taking his place as head of design. It’s a family business which has remained faithful to it’s identity, with Versus taking the roll as the rebellious heart. Versace itself is an empire built around luxury and style, with everything from bathroom tiles to beach towels catered for, there’s even two Versace hotels. Talk about conquering the world…
Donatella likes to cultivate fresh young talent and in 2009 she appointed up-and-coming British designer Christopher Kane as the new designer of Versus. After Kane left in 2012 the brand went under a complete overhaul, with seasonal collections ceasing to be produced and the digital world firmly in it’s sights. Donatella stepped back in as head designer but collaborated with the likes of British designer J W Anderson and rapper MIA. It was only earlier this year that Anthony Vaccarello was passed over the Versus Staff and was titled Head Designer. This season’s collection is his debut at the Italian label and he seems to be honouring it’s heritage with a homage to 90s Brit Pop. Versace’s lion head motif is scattered all over the range, from penny sized studded coins on sweatshirts, to subtle silver tie bars on the shirting. The lion’s head is definitely ruling over this collection. It’s younger, cooler and edgier than it’s mother brand, producing the perfect balance between respect for the past and a creative revolution for the current generation of fashion forward men. It’s one to watch this season.
Versace mainline will also be coming to John Anthony this season, check back for updates!