Our key clients don't queue for the sales: Versace

Thu Jan 8, 2009 11:03am EST
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - Luxury fashion brand Versace dismissed the idea that its core customers would queue for bargains at post-Christmas sales in Italy's fashion capital.

"Our regular client was not queuing on January 3-4 in Milan or Rome but was on the slopes in St Moritz or on a boat in the Caribbean," Giancarlo Di Risio, CEO of the celebrity-favored designer, said in comments published in Italy's financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Thursday.

As in other fashion capitals, bargain-hunters in Milan have been flocking to shops for discounts since the winter sales period began on January 3.

Versace is holding sales like other fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Roberto Cavalli and Gucci, whose price tags have been slashed by 40 percent, some up to 50 percent.

"Fifty percent off a Valentino handbag is exactly what I am looking for," housewife Maria Cristina, 33, said as she eyed the accessories floor at department store chain La Rinascente. "I've had my eye on it for a while and now is the time to get it."

Shop assistants at several stores here said the sales had gotten off to a good start. Queues of cars were even seen at the motorway exit for one fashion outlet at the weekend.

"It was a very good start, we had an optimal response and not only at our flagship (Milan) store," said Alberto Baldan, director general at La Rinascente.

However, since the start of the week, sales have been slightly subdued, others said, because of the cold weather.   Continued...

<p>A shopper holds a bag from the high-end luxury goods maker Versace as he stands at a crosswalk along 5th Avenue in New York, November 19, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>