Versace goes big in Japan
Versace wanted to test the waters before branching out into Japan.
The high-end brand had four stores there, but pulled out of the Japanese market in 2009. Its clothes were still available in some department stores, but in 2015 it opened three new Versace shops and a flagship. Now the company's CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris has explained why they approached things so tentatively.
“Even if it’s true that we have had Versace Japan since three years ago, in reality it was a dormant presence just to control the media and to create the warm-up in terms of organisation… and to taste the market and so on,” he explained to WWD. “But in reality the re-entering came when we opened (Versus Versace) in Aoyama.”
The businessman added that Japan is a very important country and represents a significant chunk of Versace's competitors' turnover.
Despite the popularity of Versus, the brand plans to focus on its main line. “Seventy per cent of our revenue is done by our first line, so we have not the issue of cannibalisation of a second line that is bigger than the first line,” he revealed.
“We have waited to have the right products, the right financial power to match our products and to compete in the right location."
Anthony Vaccarello helms the Versus line, which was initially given to Versace designer Donatella by her late brother Gianni in the '80s. It wasn't easy for the fashion star to let go of it.
“Yes (it was hard to give Versus up). But I understand it is the right moment to give it up. I’m not 25, and going out every night," Donatella explained to British newspaper The Guardian. "You need to be able to see what is going on, to listen to their language and to go where they are. I cannot do that, even though I would love to. If I do, it’s not going to be radical. Anthony can do that. His sensibility is similar to the DNA of Versace, but he has a fresh eye.”