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2009 March 2

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The Versus Abseil clutch The Versus Abseil clutch
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(MILAN) Donatella Versace continues to forge new territories, unveiling a soft relaunch of the Versus line with an accessories collaboration between Versace and her British protege Christopher Kane. The 20-odd items shown at the new Versus showroom on Via Manzoni on Sunday consisted of bags, shoes and several pieces of costume jewelry rendered in silver and black leather studded with large crystals. The sole pop of color came from a salmon clutch made in patent leather.

The collection will not bow in freestanding Versace boutiques; instead, the brand hopes that specialty and department store buyers will pick up Versus for Fall 2009. Prices range from $500 to $1,500. While a ready-to-wear collection is not yet in the works, it remains a possibility depending on the success of the accessories business. Early reactions had editors and retailers equally enthusiastic about the edgy, unusual designs in the categories that most excite consumers.

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