More than two decades after Italian designer Gianni Versace was murdered in front of his Miami mansion, his namesake fashion house has been sold to Michael Kors for $2.12 billion.
The late designer’s sister, Donatella Versace, will remain on as creative director of the luxury brand.
“Donatella’s iconic style is at the heart of the design aesthetic of Versace,” John D. Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors Holdings Limited, said in a statement Tuesday. “She will continue to lead the company’s creative vision. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Donatella on Versace’s next chapter of growth.”
Michael Kors Holdings Limited — already made up of the brands Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo — will change its name to Capri Holdings Limited.
“The acquisition of Versace is an important milestone for our group,” Idol said. “Versace was founded in 1978. For over 40 years, Versace has represented the epitome of Italian fashion luxury, a testament to the brand’s timeless heritage. We are excited to have Versace as part of our family of luxury brands, and we are committed to investing in its growth.
“With the full resources of our group, we believe that Versace will grow to over $2 billion in revenues,”Idol continued. “We believe that the strength of the Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo brands, and the acquisition of Versace, position us to deliver multiple years of revenue and earnings growth.”
Donatella called the deal an exciting moment for Versace. “It has been more than 20 years since I took over the company along with my brother Santo and daughter Allegra,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Not everyone was on board with the buy though. Actor Drake Bell, best known for starring on Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh,” tweeted: “Michael Kors?!! Wow…Versace. At least now we will be able to find you at Tjmaxxx. It was nice knowing you @versace.”
He followed it up with another tweet with tearful emojis and the words “@versace founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace. Destroyed in 2018 by @MichaelKors It was a good 40 years.”
Others griped that the brand won’t be the same. “By the time I can afford Versace it won’t be Versace anymore,” Twitter user Asanda posted.
The Versace brand got a lot of buzz this year because of FX true crime anthology series, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.” The show that ran from January to March mainly focused on Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, who killed four other men before gunning down Versace on July 15, 1997 and later killing himself.