News just in: Christopher Kane is leaving Versus! The Scot designer has been embroiled in industry buzz this weekend reporting that he is to fill Nicolas Ghesquière's shoes as creative director at Balenciaga, although a spokesperson has denied the reports. This latest development, however, is sure to reignite rumours surrounding his future career.
'Versus is the young heart, soul and spirit of Versace,' reads a press release that has just landed in our inbox. 'Under Donatella Versace’s creative leadership, there will be collaborations with young designers, stylists, and creatives from different walks of life, to develop capsule collections, co-branding projects, limited editions. This pool of young creative talents will replace the collaboration with Christopher Kane who will focus on the development of his own line.'
Versus began in 1989 as the first diffusion line from the Italian fashion house and was given as a gift by Gianni Versace to his sister, Donatella. After closing in 2005, Donatella resurrected the younger brand with a capsule collection of accessories designed by Kane, who was appointed as co-creative director in 2009. He has since presented a collection each season during Milan Fashion Week (see his greatest hits in the gallery above).
Versus Spring Summer 2012
This latest development hints at a label overhaul that involves 'a strong digital element'. Versus will no longer produce seasonal collections - instead, capsule collections will be designed by Donatella, which won’t necessarily coincide with the traditional catwalk format during fashion weeks. A spokesperson for the brand confirmed that the partnership ended by mutual agreement, with no termination of contract.
'This is a very exciting development for Versus and I'm thrilled to be engaged in such a major shake up of the fashion world's rules,' says Donatella. 'I want to thank Christopher for his contribution to Versus over six seasons, during which I have been able to appreciate his extraordinary talent. Working with young talented people and seeing them grow and develop as I have seen Christopher do over these years, is one of the most rewarding parts of my work. I wish him all the best for the development of his own line. He will always have my total support.'
'I am so grateful to Donatella Versace for her support and the incredible opportunities she has given me,' Kane tells WWD. 'I respect her enormously and have learned so much from her. I have loved and appreciated working with her and will always be indebted to her. I am excited about the new Versus strategy, but the time has come to dedicate all my focus to the future of the Christopher Kane label.'