Donnatella and the Versace company has spoken out against luxury brands and their sales. Due to the recent economic downturn, many high end designer labels have been lowering their prices, in order to branch out and create a bigger sales volume with those who are less than rich. While other labels throw sale signs in their store windows all over the world, the Versace CEO refuses to follow suit, saying that the company does not want teen girls to get their hands on Versace merchandise. CEO Giancarlo Di Risio is quoted as saying:
“Our regular client was not queuing on January 3-4 in Milan or Rome but was on the slopes in St Moritz or on a boat in the Caribbean,” he said. “We want to offer a real luxury and not to open our doors to the consumption of young girls who can put the designer handbag of their dreams on their arm with less than 300 Euros. We are not interested in that.”
“In Via Montenapoleone or in Via Condotti, you could already buy goods at half price in mid-November,” Di Risio continued. “This policy is ruining a market which, given that it is at the high end, should be more protected. For me, fans of sales are different to regular buyers.”
While many fashion reporter’s as well as other blogs slam Donnatella and her company’s “rude mistake”, I myself agree 100% with Ms. Versace. As a fashion fanantic, I have watched some of the biggest, most sought-after luxury brands become over-popularized and thus completely ruined by label crazy teens wanting a piece of designer clothing for the wrong reasons. When luxury brands were first on the scene in the early 1900s, only the stars, the rich, the famous or the royal could afford these exquisite pieces and with good reason; the merchandise was quality crafted, one-of-a-kind and well worth the money put into buying them. Having the latest designer bag (such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes or Chanel), meant you were of high status, had fine taste and could afford to back it up. But this was not all it meant – it also meant you got a bag that would last you your entire life, a bag that would never go out of style and would work with anything in your closet, for almost any occasion. This was what “it” bags used to be about.
Today, the appeal of an it bag has completely changed. These bags are sought after by almost any woman and they would do almost anything to get one; including buying fakes. The market for designer knock-offs has become bigger, and it has robbed many people. First of all: the designers who put their time, their skills and money into making these bags – and it’s not necessarily due to a drop in sales that makes them lose money, since their main clientele can afford their bags and wouldn’t dare buy a fake anyway; it’s the loss of appeal to those main buyers, who no longer want the brand’s merchandise because teenaged girls everywhere are walking around with believable fakes on their arms.
Keeping the luxury market alive in fashion is a key goal for many in the high end industry, especially the very few couturiers that are left in the world. While many claim that luxury and high end designer labels will soon become a thing of the past, I strongly believe in quality goods, as do many other fashion insiders like Donnatella – and while we still have rich people, I think it will be safe to say that luxury and designer goods are here to stay – at least for now.