Versace's Latest Plan: U.S., Accessories Keys To Breaking Even in '07

Versace chief executive officer Giancarlo Di Risio said losses widened and revenue dropped in 2004, but predicted the firm would break even in 2007.

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Back in Milan, Versace welcomed a new worldwide communications director this month. Isabelle Harvie-Watt Clavarino, a 14-year veteran at Giorgio Armani, replaced the outgoing Jason Weisenfeld. She will coordinate all advertising for the brand.

Paul Beck, the company's former publicity director and Donatella Versace's former husband, recently returned to the company at its newly opened New York press office. Di Risio said that Beck will oversee "special projects." Versace has yet to fill the post of U.S. public relations director.

Armando Branchini, vice president of consultancy Intercorporate, said he thinks Di Risio, a former IT Holding and Fendi ceo, is a strong managerial choice for Versace and that a 2007 break-even date is doable given the brand's name recognition and underexploited areas, such as the U.S. and accessories.

"I think it's realistic. They can do it," he said.

Still another luxury goods consultant, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he thought the 2007 break-even point wasn't aggressive enough.
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