It has become one of fashion’s biggest annual talking points - who will become the latest fashion-guru to be selected to design a capsule collection for style-giant H&M. It’s a much sought after role - and this year it is Versace. We managed to get a few words from Donatella Versace in the days leading up to the much talked about launch later this month.
What does your collaboration with H&M add to you as a designer?
It made me feel free to do whatever I want. It was amazing to me to feel so much freedom. It made me realise that fashion is so fixated with rules. Fashion should be more about excitement, about fun and inspiration. It’s caused so much excitement and anticipation at our headquarters. Young designers on my team are all begging me to see if they can buy something from the collection before it’s released. It makes me very happy to see.
What do you feel your line has been able to add to H&M?
I think we are giving H&M an excitement about fashion by sharing with them the heritage and icons of our brand. They are such an incredible team to work with, amazing to talk with about fashion. I think they are as excited about the possibilities of the collection as we are.
Did the collaboration still allow you to remain true to the key Versace quintessence?
I would not have done it if it did not. I am very proud of the Versace DNA, and only work with those people who understand it and share our vision. This collection is not a version of Versace, it is Versace.
What essential style item should a man and a woman each invest in heavily and never be without?
It would be the key item that will always be in their wardrobe, no matter what, and will never let them down. For a man, it is a suit of the best cut and quality possible. For a woman, it would be a dress that she can wear again and again. If it were me, it would be a black dress, obviously.
What is your opinion of the current state of fashion?
I think fashion is the most exciting it has ever been. More people around the world are interested in it, and thanks to social media, more people feel like they have a genuine connection with it, especially the young. Fashion is fashion, no matter what happens. Fashion will always be here. It is part of pop culture. How it changes is part of what makes it so exciting.
First Published in Men's Passion issue #35 November 2011