The Kingpin of American fashion brands — Michael Kors, has snapped up the leading Italian brand Versace for $2.12 billion.
The Milan-based label, founded in 1978, Gianni Versace S.p.A. is one of the world’s leading fashion design houses and a symbol of Italian luxury world-wide. It has been run by Gianni Versace’s family ever since he was infamously murdered 21 years ago. It designs, manufactures, distributes and retails fashion and lifestyle products including haute couture, prèt-à-porter, accessories, jewellery, watches, eyewear, fragrances, and home furnishings all bearing the distinctive Medusa logo.
After rumours of its acquisition had been making rounds in the world of fashion, Michael Kors Holdings officially took over Versace for 2.12 billion dollars including debt.
Michael Kors, whose namesake label is best known for its leather handbags, has made no secret of its ambition to widen its customer base and its portfolio of high-end brands after buying the British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion last year.
Michael Kors Holdings will now be officially named Capri Holdings with three prime fashion houses under its portfolio — Michael Kors Collection, Jimmy Choo and Versace. The Versace family will become shareholders of Capri Holdings and the US private equity firm Blackstone, which bought 20% of Versace back in 2014, will fully exit its investment.
The new owners plan to increase the number of Versace outlets from 200 to 300 stores, double the turnover, increase global footprint by 50%, and expand men's and women's accessories and footwear sales by 25 percent.
For those of you who fear that Versace’s magic will be ruined are worrying unnecessarily as even though a lot of products in the Michael Kors brand range in the lower price categories (this just gives the label a far wider customer base), Michael Kors has designed the first women's ready-to-wear collection for high-end Paris fashion house, Celine. And its customers have included Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, the leading Trump women, and Michelle Obama. And let’s not forget that Donatella Versace will continue being the Creative Director of Versace, leading the brand’s creative vision.
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