American Marketer


Versace rehashes home furnishings collaboration with apparel and accessories

October 28, 2013


Italian apparel and accessories brand Versace has revived its collaborative relationship with Los Angeles-based designers The Haas Brothers to build upon its earlier capsule collection.

In April, The Haas Brothers, Simon and Nikolai Haas, worked with Versace to create a capsule collection of home furnishings that debuted at Salone del Mobile in Milan. The expansion of the partnership into apparel and accessories shows that the brand wants to unify its operations.

“People who take interest in this new collection are likely to read about the previous home collection if they do a bit of research or spend a moment chatting with a store associate," said Lauren Owen, project manager at Blue Moon Works, Denver, CO.

“However, from the United States site, visitors are not able to view the previous home collection with the Haas Brother, that must be done through the international Versace Web site,” she said. “Even upon searching for ‘Haas’ on the U.S. site, no home results are returned.

“This is a missed opportunity on Versace’s part as they could have better capitalized on the interest in the clothing collaboration to boost awareness of their home collection.”

Ms. Owen is not affiliated with Versace, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Versace was unable to comment before press deadline.

Limited locale
The Haas Brother’s Versace capsule collection will only be available in four cities: New York in the brand’s SoHo boutique, Paris, Shanghai and Beijing Sanlitun. The collection is also available via Versace’s ecommerce Web site as of Oct. 24.

Similar to the Haas Brother’s home furnishing capsule collection for Versace Home, the design duo used gold honeycomb and black leather throughout the apparel and accessories line.

The Haas Brothers for Versace Home

The capsule collection features graphic tees, leather ties, a gold-plated belt, a pair of heeled booties and a range of accessories that include a business card holder, a cigarette case, jewelry, compact mirror, a tie clip and a iPhone 5 case all in gold.

The Haas Brothers for Versace collection

In addition to the the use of gold honeycomb and black leather, the Haas Brother’s incorporated different aspects of Versace DNA, most notably the collection’s women’s waist belt featuring the relief of 7 Medusa heads on the large buckle.

Haas Brothers' woman waist belt

Pieces from the collection range in price from $150 to $1,825.

Versace is using its social media pages to promote the new capsule collection.

The brand’s launch party at the SoHo boutique was shared via social media by live Instagram posts and tweets to increase involvement of consumers unable to attend.

Versace's Instagram

Versace has also used its Facebook to build anticipation prior to the launch as well as to drive followers to its ecommerce site to discover the collection and make a purchase.

Versace's Facebook

Return to roots
Versace has used collaborations lately to revive interest in its apparel after the brand halted fashion designs from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, the brand reopened opting to only design accessories but is now producing apparel once again.

The brand is tapping the sensibilities of millennials with an email campaign that touts the arrival of itsVersus Versace capsule collection in collaboration with British-Sri Lankan recording artist M.I.A., whose real name is Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam.

The urban, street-style of the collection is likely to interest younger consumers looking to experience the apparel brand on a relevant level. Through the popularity of street-wear, Versace may see an increased interest from a younger generation of consumers who may have felt disconnected from the brand (see story).

The brand is aiming to rehash its connection with younger consumers by aiming at urban, digitally-savvy consumers with the relaunch campaign for its Versus line.

Versace has been building excitement for the rebranding of Versus through a comprehensive social media and digital campaign that is counting down until the official launch and presentation of the collection May 15 in New York. Since the brand is aiming for a tech-savvy group of consumers, launching the countdown and rebranding through social media will likely get them the most attention (see story).

Due to the price and size of the home furnishing collection, this second apparel capsule collection between Versace and The Haas Brothers is likely to appeal to a larger group of consumers who may have been priced out the first time around.

“Repeat collaborations can be very effective and successful, particularly if the first collaboration received a lot of attention and buzz," Ms. Owen said.

“So often with collaborations, they are short-lived with limited supply and are gone before you know it and many consumers end up hearing about it too late to be able to buy,” she said.

“Bringing back a collaborator for a second round can be a great move that allows a brand to build upon the success and awareness achieved during the first collaboration.”

Final Take
Jen King, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York