The days leading up to Milan Fashion Week remind us of the drama and stress endured leading up to New York’s, as designers canceled shows (Peter Som), abandoned the tents (Vera Wang), and downsized (Marc Jacobs). If we hadn’t depleted our anti-anxiety meds, we’d throw a few Milan’s way, because the same sorts of things are happening over there. Just Cavalli canceled its runway show scheduled for Thursday, since its licensee, Ittierre, filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month. “I have made this decision in order to protect the Just Cavalli image and its clients,” Roberto Cavalli said. Whether or not you love the clothes as much as our favorite Real Housewife of New York, Simon van Kempen, you can certainly agree that one less Cavalli show creates a serious void — like a leopard without its spots or a zebra without its stripes. And no one wants freakish white zebras walking around.
But while Cavalli’s diffusion line struggles, Donatella Versace is reviving the younger, lower-priced Versus line Gianni Versace started in 1989. Versus was put on hold four years ago so the company could focus on its main line. Those items can’t be selling too well these days (Versace, mind you, refuses to mark things down), so now’s a great time to relaunch Versus. A capsule collection of Versus accessories will be on display in Milan on March 1 during Fashion Week, which makes sense, because handbags and sunglasses are the real meat and potatoes of luxury houses. Maybe they’ll even throw in a couple of different shades of giraffe print to satiate us until Just Cavalli sorts itself out.