Milan’s wacky, wonderful fashion week closes on quiet note

A model wears a creation from Ujoh women’s Fall/Winter 2018-2019 collection, presented during the Milan Fashion Week. (AP Photo)
Updated 26 February 2018
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Milan’s wacky, wonderful fashion week closes on quiet note

MILAN: After Gucci’s heads and Dolce & Gabbana’s drones, Milan Fashion Week wrapped up Monday on a tranquil note with shows by Japanese designers.
The six days of previews for next fall and winter is likely to be the most talked-about in a long time. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele’s message reverberated well beyond fashion world’s epicenter when on Day 1, he sent out two models carrying replicas of their own heads through a pristine operating room backdrop. And the fashion crowd was awestruck on the penultimate day when Dolce & Gabbana unveiled their latest handbag, flown down the runway by a bunch of drones.
These houses are providing master classes in how to grab the attention of the new consumers. The trick remains to stay true to the brand’s traditions and DNA — something being undertaken by new and new-ish designers at Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Marni and Jil Sander.
One of the highlights from Monday was Mitsuru Nishizaki’s latest Ujoh collection combining British-inspired check, plaid and stripe fabrics with his own trademark asymmetrical and layered silhouette. It was the Tokyo-based designer’s third year showing in Milan.
Trousers got an update with mix-matched tapered legs, one in black, one in a red burgundy, with an asymmetrical button closure. The look is layered with a tunic-style sweater.
The attention to detail and workmanship come through in an off-the-shoulder black dress with a ruffled hem decorated with a field of blue embroidered flowers that continue into lacy 3-D adornments.
Nishizaki has tapped the Milan trend of wrapping, with knitwear that bunches and hugs the frame, and large oversized wraps that fasten over the shoulder with a leather strap. One in British plaid is covered with lurex intarsia.
Another Monday highlight was Atsushi Nakashima, who debuted his first collection in Milan last year and sees similarities between Milan and Tokyo, in that both cities cherish and pass on traditions.
He stays close to his native Japan, however, when sourcing textiles. They included a double-face patchwork of panels that read inside and out, including washing instructions and instructions for wearing hoods.
The mixed men’s and women’s collection included a series of trenches, bombers and duffel coats in khaki and olive green, and his-and-hers matching sweatshirts with neon lizards, worn under suspenders.


Michael Kors agrees to buy Versace for €1.83 billion

Updated 25 September 2018
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Michael Kors agrees to buy Versace for €1.83 billion

MILAN: US fashion group Michael Kors has agreed to buy Versace in a deal valuing the revered designer at $2 billion including debt, the companies said on Tuesday, making it the latest Italian brand to fall into foreign hands.
Michael Kors, whose namesake label is best known for its leather handbags, has made no secret of its ambition to grow its portfolio of high-end brands after buying British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion last year.
Versace, known for its bold and glamorous designs and its Medusa head logo, was one of a clutch of family-owned Italian brands cited as attractive targets at a time when the luxury industry is riding high on strong demand from China.
“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,” John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors said.
As part of the deal, Michael Kors agreed to buy all of Versace’s outstanding shares for a total enterprise value of €1.83 billion ($2.2 billion), to be funded in cash, debt and shares in Michael Kors Holding Ltd, which will be renamed Capri Holdings Ltd.
US private equity firm Blackstone, which bought 20 percent of Versace back in 2014, will fully exit its investment.
The Versace family, which currently owns 80 percent of the fashion house via a holding company called Givi, will receive €150 million of the purchase price in Capri shares.
“We believe that being part of this group is essential to Versace’s long-term success. My passion has never been stronger,” said Donatella Versace, sister of the company’s late founder, and artistic director and vice president of the Milan-based group.
After the deal, Versace CEO Jonathan Akeroyd will remain at the helm of the company, while Donatella Versace will “continue to lead the company’s creative vision,” Idol added.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth fiscal quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.
Michael Kors said it plans to grow Versace’s global sales to $2 billion globally, boost its retail footprint to 300 stores from around 200 at present and accelerate its e-commerce strategy. It also plans to raise the share of higher-margin accessories and footwear to 60 percent of sales from 35 percent.
Versace does not disclose its financial details, but documents deposited with the Italian chamber of commerce show that last year it posted sales of €668 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and appreciation of €45 million.