H&M has debuted a successful clan of collabs in recent years, with icons like Karl Lagerfield and Stella McCartney designing ready-to-wear threads for less. They were also part of that now-infamous Missoni for Target frenzy, when the company’s website crashed due to overwhelming traffic. But when the store launched its affordable Versace line last week (note: “affordable” and “Versace”…in the same sentence!) it was a whole ‘nother dance.
There was a metallic disco dress, and separates in psychodelic leopard-and-palm-tree prints. For the gents, a hot pink tuxedo-style suit. All of the over-the-top flair that we love from the fashion house, at a fraction of the cringe-worthy price tags (nothing is priced over $299).
It’s a refreshing departure from the first rounds of budget fashion that we saw at the recession’s onset in 2008. “It was done totally wrong the last time the economy failed,” Donatella Versace told New York Daily News backstage at the show, held on Tuesday at Pier 57 in the uber-fashionable Meatpacking District in Manhattan. “Everyone said, ‘Let’s do safe clothes of a good quality that people will invest in and wear year after year.’ That couldn’t be more wrong. The companies that survived the most were the ones that were recognizable, that stuck to their DNA, and our DNA is glamour.”
The new line is anything but safe. The same could be said for our wallets.