|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2011)|
|Products||Textile - Apparel |
Versus is the diffusion line of noted Italian fashion house Versace. It began in 1989 as the first of many diffusion lines by the house, a gift by the founder Gianni Versace to his sister, Donatella Versace. After closing in 2005, Donatella resurrected it in 2009 with a capsule collection of accessories designed by emerging British designer Christopher Kane, who is now co-creative director with Donatella. Versus is the true rock and roll soul of Versace.
Created for those who want to evolve their own individual style, Gianni Versace introduced Versus in 1989 describing it as, "Versus was born with an innate creative approach, with a strong focus on innovation, flair and the unconventional. An artistic force that takes present fashion forward, anticipating new trends and embracing challenge".
The following Versus collections of fashion, accessories, eyewear, watches, and fragrances proved to be an enormous success with a strong public following who were turned into its distinctive 'rock-chic' style.
Today Versus is well known as Versace's second line and as a brand. It is worn by many celebrities including Cheryl Cole, Leighton Meester, Miranda Cosgrove and Alexa Chung, and featured in and on the cover of many high-profile Fashion and lifestyle international magazines like Vogue, InStyle, ELLE and Glamour.
After the success of Gianni Versace SpA in the early and mid 1980s, the company's founder Gianni Versace created the house's first diffusion line, Versus, as a gift to Donatella, his sister, muse and vice-president of the company. He described it: "Versus was born with an innate creative approach, with a strong focus on innovation, flair and the unconventional. An artistic force that takes present fashion forward, anticipating new trends and embracing challenge."
The first fashion show was presented in Milan in 1990. Between 1995 and 2003 each season's collection of ready-to-wear, accessories, eye wear and watches were presented in New York during New York Fashion Week. Versus was known for its distinctive rock-chic look that Donatella favoured and still influences the houses main line collections today. Versus grew to include menswear, fragrances and its own (sub) diffusion line, Versus sport, headed by Versace's life partner, Antonio D'Amico. During 2004, when the company was facing a downturn in profits, Versus was reduced to a limited collection of accessories, eventually being shut down with the final show, menswear spring/summer 2005.
In 2009 Donatella Versace began a stylistic collaboration with Young English designer Christopher Kane, marking the re-launch of the brand in February 2009 with a special capsule of accessories, distributed through selected multibrand stores.
Christopher Kane (2009-2012)
Having acted as a consultant at Versace after Donatella acclaimed his MA collection for Central Saint Martins school of design, Donatella invited Scottish designer Christopher Kane to re-launch the line with her in February 2009 with a capsule collection of handbags, shoes and jewellery. For spring/summer 2010, Kane presented 16 dresses for the line at Milan Fashion Week. He has since presented two other collections for the line, fall/winter 2009/2010 and most recently spring/summer 2011, his first official runway collection at Milan Fashion Week.
Donatella has likened Kane to her brother, the late Gianni Versace. Since his death in 1997, she has become the creative director of the house's main line Gianni Versace couture and other surviving diffusion lines. She said of Kane: ""Christopher reminds me of my brother Gianni when he was young, he has the same energy. That is why I asked him to work on Versus. It was the first collection that my brother Gianni let me work on, on my own, so it's very precious to me."
J.W. Anderson (2013-Present)
After the departure of Christopher Kane for Versus in 2012, it was announced that young British designer J.W. Anderson is set to collaborate with Versace's sister line Versus.
Anderson, who launched his eponymous label in 2008, is the first collaborator to be named. It comes after a stellar year for the London College of Fashion graduate, who picked up the Emerging Talent Award for Ready-to-Wear at Tuesday night's British Fashion Awards . This year he has also completed a capsule collection for Topshop and continued to receive critical acclaim for both his men's and womenswear collections.
J.W. Anderson will temporarily take over design duties at Versace's diffusion label, Versus, for a capsule collection, Donatella Versace announced. "I keep a close eye on young talent, and have been impressed by Jonathan's work over the last couple of years," said Donatella Versace. "Versus is all about fun, change, and digital. I can't wait to present this collaboration!"
The collaboration, which will be launched with a presentation event planned for March/April 2013 in New York, includes both women's and men's ready-to-wear and accessories. It will be sold via www.versus.it and at top department and specialty stores worldwide.
Along with the re-launch of Versus, Versace introduced a fragrance to the line, entitled Versus. Donatella said of it: "Versus is pure energy. I wanted a perfume which would express the strong contrast of a romantic yet tough femininity. This intense fragrance is dedicated to the woman who loves to dare." It is a confident blend of fruits and flower, with citrus, kumquat and star apple. The bottle is of striking purple and white design. The model Lara Stone is the face of the ad campaign shot by Craig McDean.