2011 was a huge year in world events. Social change was the biggest theme that permeated all throughout the world; from the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East to the Occupy movement in the Western world. Because of these events, TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year was awarded to “The Protester”, beating out prominent candidates like Ai Wei Wei, William McRaven, and Kate Middleton. Now, besides widespread protesting and struggles for social change, there were other key events that unfolded the past year; the “Occupy” movement, deaths of major figures in society, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, end of the Iraq War, and the world’s population reaching seven billion people.
“Insanity” is the only way to describe the launch of Versace For H&M last week. Fans were lining up in front of flag-ship stores in New York and London in the same way crazed fans line up for the new Apple product or Justin Bieber concert. Highlights of the launch include an appearance by Donatella Versace herself arriving in a Maserati in London and a performance by Prince at the New York store.
Versace For H&M is designed to give the average consumer a taste of high fashion for an affordable price. Stores had strict rules in place due to the overwhelming interest in the line: 10 minute shopping windows and no purchases of the same item were the biggest ones. People were there for a wealth of different reasons. Some were fashion students, some were hoping to sell clothes on eBay in hopes of turning a profit, but most were there because they wanted high-quality clothing for a fraction of the market price. Sadly, by the time this article is posted everything is sold out as of now. Consumers hoping to purchase stuff online at launch had a better chance of getting on PSN during the outage earlier this year. The site was crashing and being unresponsive due to the huge flood of internet traffic. The next line of Versace For H&M won’t be available until sometime in January. Around the same time Versace will be going back to it’s “haute couture” style of dress-making. In layman’s terms, this means exclusive clothing made to a fit an individuals custom order but can also mean high fashion. Prices of these dresses cost upwards of 500 times more than the average Versace For H&M dress.
All of this hype and excitement did only good things for the Italian fashion house. Sales and profits spiked at the launch and the excitement is still going strong. Sales and profits will once again spike in January. Versace is one of the leaders in fashion trends and if other fashion brands do similar things, this can only mean good things for the vast majority of people who can’t spend $10k worth of clothes in an afternoon on 5th Avenue. Imagine getting a Dior winter coat for an affordable price that will last you 10 years at least? What about a Louis Vuitton purse for your wife or girlfriend that won’t send you into poverty? If everything works out for the best and Versace’s brilliant scheme of “high fashion for low prices” catches on then your imagination can become reality.