Michael Kors Owns Versace Now
Being a multi-billion dollar brand is cool and all, but you know what's really cool? Having a whole stable of multi-billion-dollar brands. So Michael Kors went shopping. The American designer's holding company, Michael Kors Holdings, announced today the purchase of Italian label Versace for $2.12 billion. (The parent company will be called Capri Holdings moving forward.)
According to Business of Fashion, who broke the news, Capri's plan for the Milan-based brand is to increase the house's retail locations to 300 stores (from 200 currently), grow the accessories and footwear business, and expand e-commerce and "omni-channel development." The long-term growth plan, according to a press release, is for Versace to hit $2 billion in revenue. Critically, Donatella Versace will remain at the creative helm of the label that bears her family name. In many ways, Versace herself is as recognisable – and as valuable from both a design and branding perspective – as the brand's Medusa crest. Since taking over the house after her brother Gianni's murder in 1997, Donatella has guided the label through challenging times and periods where the brand's maximalist ethos was at odds with fashion's trend du jour. In recent years, her knack for cherry-picking archival prints and silhouettes to reissue has proven monumentally successful for the brand and retailers alike and recent collaborations.
“This is a very exciting moment for Versace.” she said in a press release. “I am proud that Versace remains very strong in both fashion and modern culture. Versace is not only synonymous with its iconic and unmistakable style, but with being inclusive and embracing of diversity, as well as empowering people to express themselves. We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace’s long-term success. My passion has never been stronger. This is the perfect time for our company, which puts creativity and innovation at the core of all of its actions, to grow.”
It's big news for Kors Corp., too, but not the growing conglomerate's first big-name purchase. That was Jimmy Choo, scooped up for $1.2 billion in July of last year. With Versace, though, the company now has a trifecta of big-time brands with global reach. The stable doesn't quite Capri in the same realm as LVMH or Kering – as noted in the BoF piece, the three brands combined don't yet hit what Gucci rakes in for parent company Kering – but it's certainly a start. It's also the first true luxury fashion conglomerate to be born on American soil (The other possible contender, Tapestry, focuses on more mid-to-high range brands like Coach, Kate Spade, & Stuart Weitzman). The U.S.A. boasts the largest apparel market in the world and yet it's failed to produce a worldwide multi-channel entity like the parent companies of Vuitton or Gucci have. Kors' Verasce-emboldened Capri Holdings will give it a go.