MICHAEL KORS BUYS VERSACE
Michael Kors Holdings, parent company of the popular American fashion label, has announced it is purchasing the iconic Italian lifestyle brand Versace for $2.2 billion…
Michael Kors, which produces a full range of lifestyle products for men, women and children at the luxury (‘Michael Kors Collection’), designer (‘Michael Kors’) and mid-tier (‘MICHAEL Michael Kors’) levels, has experienced massive growth since its reintroduction in 2002 (menswear) and 2003 (womenswear). The relaunch was facilitated through a $100 million investment by Lawrence Stroll and his financial partner Silas Chou. Together, the two owned a majority share in the brand. In 2011, Michael Kors Holding went public, making both men billionaires.
Once the brand was successfully relaunched in better department stores, the company branched out, opening its own Michael Kors retail shops. This was a key strategic move to offset a maturing wholesale business. The company also built a strong online presence where it was best able to feature all products within its ‘lifestyle’ concept, those produced in-house (RTW, shoes, handbags, etc.) and others that were manufactured by licensees (such as bedding and fragrances).
Despite its meteoric rise (fiscal year 2016 = $4.7 billion), Michael Kors Holding, in strategically planning for future growth, decided to diversify. In 2017, the company bought a second designer brand, Jimmy Choo, for for £896 million. The label is well-established but with significant growth potential.
The Versace Brand…
Gianni Versace founded his company in 1978 and gained international prominence in the 1980’s when he designed dresses for such notable clientele as Princess Diana, Princess Caroline and Elizabeth Hurley. The luxury brand, known for its bold prints and vibrant colors, maintained its prominence through the 90’s. In 1997, Gianni Versace was murdered outside his villa in South Beach, Miami. His younger sister Donatello, who was working on the Versus diffusion line, became head of design while his older brother Santo was named CEO.
The Versace brand has been in the public spotlight during 2018 in the form of ‘American Crime Story’, a successful television series based on a different true crime event per season. The show’s second edition, which aired from 17th January – 21st March, was about the murder of Gianni Versace (and the period leading up to it during which several others were also murdered). Press coverage continued following the airing when the series picked up 9 Emmy Award nominations. Darren Chris, who played the role of Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, picked up the award for lead actor, while Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator, won for best director. Penelope Cruise and Ricky Martin also received nominations in the supporting categories.
On 25th September 2018, Michael Kors Holding announced it was purchasing the Versace brand for $2.2 billion. Once the transaction is completed, the company name will be changed from Michael Kors Holding to Capri Holdings, to better reflect its new multi-brand focus.
Here in the Netherlands…
Michael Kors currently has 5 retail stores – Amsterdam (2), Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, and 2 outlet shops (Lelystad and Roermond). Its products are sold by higher end retailers throughout the country such as De Bijenkorf department stores. You can also purchase Michael Kors products online at bol.com
Versace operates a factory outlet store in Roermond.
Jimmy Choo has a store on P.C. Hooftstraat in Amsterdam.
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