The American fashion company Michael Kors agreed to buy the Italian luxury fashion house Versace in a US$2.12 billion deal on Tuesday.

As part of the agreement, Michael Kors will change its name to Capri Holdings.

The company says it aims to boost Versace’s revenue from about US$808 million to US$2 billion, expand its footprint from 200 stores to about 300 stores, and increase the number of shoes and accessories it sells.

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Developing Versace’s online presence will also be a focus.

“We are excited to have Versace as part of our family of luxury brands and we are committed to investing in its growth,” John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors, said as he announced the acquisition.

We are excited to have Versace as part of our family of luxury brands and we are committed to investing in its growth
John Idol, CEO, Michael Kors

Donatella Versace, the current vice-president of Versace, said: “Versace is not only synonymous with its iconic and unmistakable style, but with being inclusive and embracing of diversity, as well as empowering people to express themselves.

“Santo, Allegra and I recognise that this next step will allow Versace to reach its full potential.”

Donatella took over as creative director after the 1997 murder of her brother Gianni Versace, the iconic founder of the beloved fashion, while her brother, Santo, became CEO.

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Allegra Versace, Donatella’s daughter, who was 11 at the time of Gianni’s death, inherited 50 per cent of the company – making her a near-billionaire after the acquisition of the company by Michael Kors, according to The Guardian newspaper in Britain.

Versace is not only synonymous with its iconic and unmistakable style, but with being inclusive and embracing of diversity ... this next step will allow Versace to reach its full potential
Donatella Versace, vice-president, Versace

Donatella will stay on as creative director, as part of the deal.

Here’s a look back at the history of the iconic fashion brand 

Gianni Versace, who was born on December 2, 1946, grew up in the coastal city of Reggio Calabria in southern Italy.

His mother was a dressmaker and he developed his love of designing clothes from visiting her in her workshop.

He eventually moved to Milan, where he started the Versace brand in 1978.

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His younger sister, Donatella Versace, helped him design the brand’s fashions. Their brother Santo oversaw the company’s finances.

Gianni Versace’s designs were known for pushing boundaries.

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In 1989 his haute couture line debuted, modelled by Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Cindy Crawford.

He was largely credited with the trend of bringing supermodels together on the runway.

As his label flourished, Gianni helped to make fashion more mainstream, with celebrities such as pop stars Elton John, Prince and Madonna all wearing the brand’s designs.

Versace was also one of the first fashion brands to attract high-profile celebrities to its shows.

Versace also became known for running high-profile advertising campaigns shot by iconic fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon and Bruce Weber.

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But on July 15, 1997, when he was arguably at the peak of his career, Gianni was shot dead, aged 50, by the serial killer Andrew Cunanan, as he returned to his Miami Beach home after taking a walk.

Donatella Versace took over as the company’s head designer and creative director, while Santo Versace took over as the company’s CEO.

In February 2014, Versace announced that the private-equity firm, Blackstone, would acquire 20 per cent of the company, with the Versace family holding on to the other 80 per cent.

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Two years later in 2016, the Versace Group appointed Jonathan Akeroyd as CEO.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Michael Kors was in talks to acquire Versace for about US$2 billion.

The following day it was officially announced that the American company would acquire Versace for US$2.12 billion, with plans to increase both the number of its stores and online presence, introduce more accessories and shoes to its collection and more than double the brand’s revenue.


This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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