Michael Kors buys Versace for $2.1 billion: causing widespread media panic


Brianna Adkins

The fashion world was sent into a media panic when it was announced, by Michael Kors on Sept. 25, that Michael Kors was seeking a deal to purchase Versace. The Italian fashion house, Versace, known for its opulent and luxurious style, is a complete contrast against the more commercialized and consumer-friendly brand, Kors. The proposed buy-out caused a media storm of both hate comments and applause, causing chaos of opinions and news headlines.

Versace was founded by Italian designer, Gianni Versace, in 1978. He created a fashion empire that remains as one of the world’s most highly esteemed fashion houses to this day. After Versace’s tragic death in 1997, his sister, Donatella Versace, took over the brand and continues to be the creative mind behind the house today. She took over her brother’s legacy and ran with it.

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With such an incredible and traumatic story behind the fashion empire, Versace became a hit among high fashion consumers all over the world. After dominating the Italian fashion market for years, many claim that it came as a surprise to hear about the sale. After the confirmation of the proposed buy-out, it soon became a very heated topic of discussion.

While some social media users online claimed that this was a tragedy to the Italian fashion house, others commended the smart business approach.

“Gianni Versace is probably rolling in his grave finding out that his sister sold his fashion brand to Michael Kors,” one user wrote.

Another debated, claiming that “it goes to show that mid market affordable luxury is the way to make the big bucks.”

While online opinions were heard loud and clear, one incredibly influential opinion stood out in support of the deal.

“I think it’s great for business. I think it’s good for the industry,” Naomi Campbell, supermodel and long-time friend of the Versace family, expressed. “Yeah, I’m into it.”

Donatella Versace released a statement following the news of the sale, explaining that she’s not going anywhere and “Versace will remain Italian, made in Italy, and that it will keep its glamour, daring, and inclusive attitude that have made you all love it.”

Brennan Bodin, University Profashional President, debates the strategy of the business move depending on the company viewpoint.

“Is this buy out great for MK? Absolutely. Versace is the largest brand that the group has now acquired and makes MK group much more competitive with other conglomerates.”

As for Versace, Bodin’s professional opinion differed.

“Is this buy out great for Versace/the Italian Fashion Community? Debatable,” he said. “It’s sad to see such a luxuriously personal house join the corporate world.”

While it may be a sad day in the history of Versace, only time can tell how this deal is going to shift the brand for better or for worse.

As for consumers of high-end fashion, this may be the start of a more affordable Versace line that even University students can afford. While attending New York, Paris, or Milan Fashion Week may be out of the question for most University students, street style is where they have the opportunity to show off their fashion finds.

Since Michael Kors is often found in consumer favorite stores such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls, some fans of Versace are hoping to see the Italian designer label show up into those exact stores. With a University student budget, that’s sure to make thrifty fashion lovers everywhere rejoice. So keep an eye out while in these stores and you may even see the Italian label show up with a price that’s friendlier to your wallet.