By Dory Jackson
The fashion world woke up to shocking news Monday as reports suggested Michael Kors is in the process of finalizing a deal to purchase luxury brand Versace. The deal would amount to an estimated $2 billion.
Michael Kors is known for producing affordable luxury items, whereas the Italian fashion house Gianni Versace errs on the side higher end products. The news, which was first reported by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, comes on the heels of Versace previewing its Spring/Summer 2019 collection during Milan Fashion Week on Friday. Creative director Donatella Versace recruited notable models like Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Emily Ratajkowski, Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid to hit the runway showcasing the House of Versace’s upcoming offerings.
“I loved the exuberance of it and the freshness. The models looked super sexy but in such a playful, positive way. They were really owning it and it felt so joyful,” Elle UK‘s editor-in-chief Anne-Marie Curtis said of the runway show. “‘There were a lot of great pieces you’d want to own. I thought the floral dresses and the Gypsy Queens section of the show really captured one of the key moods of the season.”
Versace, a brand favored among celebrities, has faced financial woes over the years despite high intrigue from Chinese consumers. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal Monday, private-equity group Blackstone Group would relinquish its 20 percent stake in the brand. It remains uncertain whether Donatella Versace would continue to serve as the brand’s creative director or whether the Versace family would resume as shareholders.
Model Kendall Jenner is pictured presenting a creation for Versace during the Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 fashion shows in Milan, Italy, on September 21, 2018. Michael Kors is reportedly in talks to purchase Versace for an estimated $2 billion. Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images
Michael Kors, for some time now, has been eyeing to acquire luxury brands under its wing. In July 2017, the namesake brand purchased British high fashion house Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.
“Jimmy Choo is known worldwide for its glamorous and fashion-forward footwear. The company is a leader in setting fashion trends. Its innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship resonate with trendsetters globally,” John D. Idol, chairman and chief executive officer of Michael Kors, said in a statement at the time. “We believe that Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and our company is committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built over the last 20 years.”
Michael Kors’ purchase of Jimmy Choo followed the designer brand’s trend of declining sales. In May 2017, Michael Kors announced it would close around 125 stores due to what Idol deemed “a difficult and disappointing year.” Idol further suggested the brand “must acknowledge that our company needs to take steps to accelerate the level of luxury fashion innovation.”
Representatives for Michael Kors didn’t immediately return Newsweek‘s request for comment. Versace declined to comment.