Add Donatella Versace to the growing list of designers weighing in on fashion's 'broken system.' And interestingly, she's against the trendy idea of combining men's and women's runway shows as a solution to the unwieldy pace of the fashion calendar.
As an increasing number of brands follow Gucci and Vetements' lead in announcing plans to show combine their men's and women's presentations, Donatella is making a clear stand against it. 'I don't believe in gender mixing,' she told Women's Wear Daily in an interview about her upcoming Versace men's show.
'There are women and men; my fashion is totally different, with the same mentality [behind the design process], but different. I like a strong, daring woman who has no fear of showing who she is, her force. The same with men. You can't translate it in the clothes in the same way. Absolutely not. They are very different.'
But like practically everyone who works in fashion, she agrees the current state of play isn't working. 'The calendar is in shambles; I am fed up with this system. I think the business model of luxury brands is about to change in a radical way,' she says.' 'My solution is not to do men's and women's together in the same show. Maybe in the same week, but in two different moments. I have to divide them — not one right after the other. With one show, you have to use the same fabrics; I don't want to do that. I like more freedom.'
She also had strong opinions about the high turnover at some of fashion's biggest houses. 'A brand collapses without a designer. If there is no pure creativity, a company shuts down. It would be convenient for companies if managers did it all. But they are wrong. Raf Simons exited Dior. He is my dear friend, I have tremendous respect for him, he is so talented. Dior is not Dior anymore. I'm not saying that Raf was perfect for that position, but he refreshed it, he brought a breath of novelty to the brand. It's very difficult to replace someone who has left a mark. At Calvin Klein, they are both out [Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli]. Someone strong must be coming.'