The Italian luxury fashion brand Gianni Versace last week announced that it has agreed to be sold to the American Fashion Tycoon Michael Kors, The founder of the self-titled Michael Kors brand, in a deal estimated to be worth over $2 billion.
Gianni Versace (more commonly known as Versace), founded in 1978, last year celebrated 40 years in the retail business. The company has had a long and sometimes tragic history, following the brutal murder of its founder Gianni Versace in 1997. Following Gianni’s death, his sister, Donatella Versace, took over as Artistic Director of the company and has overseen the continual rise of the brands popularity and worth on the world market. As of 2016, there were over 1500 Versace stores across the world. It opened its first store outside of Italy in 1991, with the opening of a store in Glasgow.
Donatella Versace currently owns an 80% stake in the company, and while this will deplete with the brands sale, it’s believed that the Versace family will still retain a role in the management of the company. As part of the deal, Michael Kors will be renamed to Capri Holdings, in order to accomodate for the purchasing of future companies.
Following the announcement of the sale, fans of the Versace brand were left in shock, with many begging Donatella Versace to cancel the sale, many saying that Gianni would be disappointed in the businesses acquisition. Scrolling through the comments on Donatella’s Instragram photos, fans have left messages such as “Why would you sell outside of Europe? This lady lost her mind, she is destroying a beautiful company”, “Please don’t sell anything to MK” and “From made in Italy to made in China #ripversace”. Many feel that Michael Kors will destroy the luxury element of Versace, given how they tend to run their business. As part of a comparison, fans have been noting the cost of bags from both brands and noting the stark difference. An average Michael Kors bag is reported to cost $100, while the average Versace bag could cost a consumer over $2,000.
The deal looks set to be finalised this week.