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Versace CEO Touts 'Second Phase'

Gian Giacomo Ferraris reveals plans to expand retail network.

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AN EXPANSIVE MOOD: “We have entered into Versace’s second phase,” Gian Giacomo Ferraris, chief executive officer of Versace, said before the brand’s men’s show, referring to the expansion initiated with the sale of a 20 percent stake in the firm to Blackstone Group at the end of February.

With the help of the fund, the Milan-based company plans to further develop its retail network and, following the opening of a 7,560-square-foot store in Hong Kong at the end of May, Versace is gearing up for the unveiling of a unit in the prestigious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in September during Milan Fashion Week.

Ferraris said the store would be dedicated mainly to the brand’s burgeoning accessories category. The executive, who was upbeat about the work being done with Blackstone, also said 2014 is the year of the Versus rollout around the world, namely in the U.K. and Asia. “This year will be one of a gentle, double-digit [like-for-like] growth,” he said, pointing to the strength of the U.S. market in particular.