VERSACE will design for H&M this year, becoming the latest high fashion label to work with the Swedish high street brand.
"I am thrilled to be collaborating with H&M and to have the opportunity of reaching its wide audience," Donatella Versace said this morning. "The collection will be quintessential Versace, perfect for H&M and Versace fans everywhere."
The announcement marks a turnaround for Versace, who in 2008 claimed that a high street diffusion line simply wasn't the Versace way. "I respect everyone who does it. But the reason I didn't do it is because I work very hard to put the Versace line in the luxury section. I think to put the Versace line in H&M would confuse the brand," she told New York Magazine. However, rather than 'diffusion', this line is being sold as an 'Iconic Collection' for which Donatella will raid the archives of the Italian fashion house that was founded by her brother Gianni in 1978.
No doubt hoping to have the same affect on shoppers as Alber Elbaz last year, when his Lanvin for H&M collection sold out in a matter of minutes (with many items subsequently selling for even greater prices on eBay), Donatella will launch H&M menswear, womenswear and homeware which will go on sale on November 17 - shortly followed by a pre-spring collection that will be available online from January 19.
"Versace is one of the most important brands of recent times and their collection for H&M will be glamorous and flamboyant - everything Versace stands for," said Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M - who has masterminded collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garcons and Jimmy Choo in the past. "Donatella Versace is sharing with us iconic designs from the archives. This is such a celebratory collaboration and is perfect for the party season."
Expect studded leather and colourful prints for the girls; sharp tailoring and plenty of bling for the boys - and substantial queues down Regent Street in November.
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