Milan Fashion Week is now in full swing, but here’s an update we didn’t expect out of Italy: Affordable luxury American designer Michael Kors’ company is reportedly positioned to purchase famed luxury Italian fashion house Versace for more than $2 billion.
The move may come as a surprise to many who have watched a resurgence of the family-owned Italian label in the last two years, including sightings of their designs on several high-profile celebs (including a major moment on Beyoncé in the Carters “Apeshit” video). And, of course, there was newfound notoriety brought by 2018's Emmy-winning biographical series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
But, proving that placements don’t automatically translate to profits, rumors of the sale are widespread and credible. The pending sale also represents a turnaround in the presumed fate of the Kors label, which as recently as Spring 2017 was reported as being in financial trouble. If the deal goes through, Michael Kors Holdings will acquire Gianni Versace SpA for approximately $2.35 billion), according to the Wall Street Journal.
Significantly, the sale would potentially also bring Kors, which has been a major player in American luxury wear for years, but is still best known for its mid-priced handbags and logo-emblazoned items, a newfound dominance in the high fashion market bridging both sides of the Atlantic, rivaling Gucci.
No word yet on whether the Versace family would continue to be minority shareholders. The business was made famous by the late designer Gianni Versace. His sister, Donatella Versace, has been creative director of the company since her brother’s murder in 1997.