>> Versace Currently on Track For Profitability by 2011—Two months ago, Versace announced it was eliminating 26 percent of its workforce in an effort to regain profitability by 2011. Now, company CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris says the brand is on track with its goal — boutique sales are up 10 percent since January, the Fall 2010 collection is nearly entirely pre-sold to wholesalers, and revenue is now about 10 percent of Gucci and slightly higher than Yves Saint Laurent. And although it's been suggested that majority holder Allegra Beck Versace might sell her stake in the company, Ferraris says not so: "With this plan, there is no urgency (for any family members to sell). This plan will guarantee the cashflow to run the business without any interference." [Reuters]
>> In 2004, Wall Street Journal's Deborah Ball reports in her just-published book House of Versace, Donatella Versace told her daughter Allegra Versace Beck she has until she is 24 to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. If Allegra didn't succeed by then, she had to come work for Versace. Allegra, who owns a majority stake in the company, turns 24 in June of this year.
The declaration could have changed by now — although in media interviews, Donatella still expresses hope that Allegra will join the company at some point. Allegra lives in New York and attends Versace board meetings; she was involved in replacing Versace's chief executive last May with current chief executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris. And at the beginning of 2009, she began spending more time in Milan and now has a desk in Donatella's atelier.
>> After weeks of speculation, Versace CEO Giancarlo Di Risio, who has been with the company since 2004, is expected to hand in his resignation at a board meeting on Friday. Despite the fact that Di Risio worked closely with Donatella Versace to make her collections less flashy and returned the house to profit, the company has been under strain from declining sales, and its board recently approved a restructuring plan which effectively sidelines the chief executive.
Di Risio is said to have clashed with Donatella on a number of levels — he disagreed with her lavish lifestyle, according to recent articles in the Italian media, and pushed her to simplify her designs so that the house could introduce accessories and clothes with lower prices.