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Versace to skip Milan Fashion Week

Is the brand preparing for a change of course?

Versace to skip Milan Fashion Week Is the brand preparing for a change of course?

Versace has decided to leave the usual frame of Milan Fashion Week (albeit in its virtual version) choosing to present its FW21 collection on March 5th with a digital event. But the interesting fact is that the show will be held on the same days as Paris Fashion Week, which will take place from March 1 to 9, although not formally associating with the latter, therefore without becoming "French". A very important distinction that, in the context of digital fashion week, will put the Milanese brand in the fold of Parisian presentations. A small paradox due to technical reasons but which, according to Donatella Versace, «doesn’t affect the fact that Versace remains a proud member of Camera della Moda and that the brand will always be a key player and a big supporter of the Italian fashion system».  

After Gucci and Bottega Veneta, therefore, the Milan schedule (which should be officially unveiled today) loses another appointment with one of the big names that until before the pandemic were its protagonists. Versace's choice actually seems legit: according to Donatella Versace, the digital format has the advantage of giving «the possibility of connecting with your audience whenever you think is the right moment». At the same time, this almost-Parisian presentation coincides with a moment of strong movements for the brandwhose sales have not fallen in the last year and which the Capri Holdings group plans to raise to two billion in the coming years. In addition, the announcement will come at the same time as the introduction of a new signature pattern that, according to the CEO of the fashion group, John Idol, «[it's] going to change the trajectory of the company significantly». 

So what's going on at Versace? Without a doubt, the brand represents the pride and joy of its parent company, already strong of two profitable brands such as Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, which, however, are not suitable to enter the high luxury world: Michael Kors is in fact very popular but differently positioned on the market and much more accessible than the classic luxury fashion brand, while Jimmy Choo deals with footwear. Versace, on the other hand, is old school, already inserted in the environment of the big players and is ready to make that "quantum leap" that, for example, LVMH wants Givenchy to do – that is, to exceed one billion annual revenues going so far as to challenge titans such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Presenting in the same days of Paris Fashion Week, launching a new pattern that should redefine the identity of the brand, perhaps means then aiming at a different and more international springboard than a Milan Fashion Week that the lockdown and the many illustrious abandons have made limp.