Versace Spring Summer 2024 “Bold and Chequered”. Story by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Versace.
Versace, a brand with a distinguished and unmistakable identity, has always been synonymous with luxury and boldness. The iconic Medusa and labyrinth motifs have long defined this fashion powerhouse. However, the recent acquisition of Versace by Tapestry Inc. on August 10th, 2024, has raised eyebrows in the fashion world. The transition seemed abrupt, almost as if it occurred without consulting the brand’s creative force, Donatella Versace herself.
In the ruthless arena of high fashion acquisitions, the recent purchase of Versace by Tapestry Inc. sent shockwaves through the industry. Notably, The Wall Street Journal delved into this significant development, thrusting Tapestry Inc. into the limelight alongside the formidable LVMH/Louis Vuitton European conglomerate.
Joanne Crevoiserat, the CEO of Tapestry Inc., is undeniably a financial strategist, but her track record in nurturing creativity and preserving brand identities is questionable at best. It doesn’t require a crystal ball to speculate that she might have taken a page from Louis Vuitton’s recent playbook.
The news of Louis Vuitton’s trademark woes, the cancellation and subsequent re-filing of the chequerboard pattern or damier, undoubtedly reached Crevoiserat’s desk. In a move that can only be described as audacious, the new CEO of Louis Vuitton, Pietro Beccari, decided to inundate the fashion world with the chequerboard pattern, covering every piece of the Louis Vuitton collection by Pharell Williams.
In a striking display of disregard for Versace’s heritage, Crevoiserat appears to have mandated a similar approach for Versace’s Spring Summer 2024 collection. The chequerboard pattern, an emblem of Louis Vuitton’s recent resurgence, has been surreptitiously woven into the very fabric of Versace, albeit in a manner that oozes class and sophistication.
From a purely business standpoint, this maneuver is nothing short of Machiavellian. Yet, it begs the question: at what cost? Will loyal aficionados of the Versace brand continue to embrace it when its very essence seems to be eclipsed by a trend-driven motif? In the relentless pursuit of financial gain, the delicate tapestry of creativity and brand identity is at risk of unraveling. As for Crevoiserat, perhaps she believes that sales figures alone will validate her approach. Only time will reveal whether her calculated gamble pays off, or if the soul of Versace is forever altered.
One can’t help but wonder if loyal Versace enthusiasts will continue to support the brand when its signature identity seems to be fading. Creativity appears to have taken a back seat, with sales figures perhaps the only concern at the moment.
As for the show itself, it began under somewhat uncomfortable circumstances. Guests arrived in near darkness, enduring a half-hour wait. However, the presentation kicked off on a powerful note, with a striking chequered black and white floor and top models gracing the runway. Claudia Schiffer closed the show.
The collection itself was a surprising departure from Versace’s traditional aesthetic. Pastel colors such as pink, green, and blue were juxtaposed with the dominating chequerboard pattern. It was a far cry from the iconic Versace look, leaving many in the audience astonished. Backstage, Donatella Versace explained that she was reinventing the brand’s codes, but her demeanor suggested a level of dissatisfaction that was hard to ignore.
In conclusion, Versace’s Spring Summer 2024 collection marks a bold departure from its iconic identity. The imposition of the chequerboard pattern, though business-savvy, raises concerns about the brand’s creative direction. Donatella Versace’s somber tone behind the scenes hints at the challenges she faces in maintaining the brand’s essence. Only time will reveal whether this move was a brilliant business strategy or a risk that could alienate Versace’s loyal fan base.