>> I bet there were PR chicks all over the world scratching their heads over what to do with Versus' latest campaign. One click on the Versus website, which houses their collections as non-seasonal "happenings" and on to the M.I.A. capsule collection page, you find an ever-shifting grid of GIFS created by Jaime Martinez, plonked about in Geocities web 1.0 style, which in itself has become some sort of a venerable digital aesthetic. Certainly print publications aren't going to be able to GIF it up on their pages and most of the digital arms of publications can't even host GIFs in their format of their news articles. This collection, as per Versus' collaboration with J.W. Anderson, isn't really meant for the normal channels in fashion. They're meant to spread like virals, pop up on countless anonymous Tumblrs, liked a thousand fold and in the process, a new audience might portion off some of their budget they've reserved for labels like Hood by Air and Kenzo (two prime examples of fashion labels with Insta-verve) for some of these Versus x M.I.A. pieces when they hit the online store on 16th October.
"It's always been a part of the M.I.A. culture – to talk about bootlegs, and people that sell them or make them," explains M.I.A. "When I was approached by Versace, it seemed like a good idea to take that and reverse the cycle. Versace designs have been bootlegged, now it's Versace bootlegging the bootleg for the bootleggers to bootleg the bootleg." Got that? That's a whole lot of bootlegging. These are essentially faux-fakes or real-fakes depending on how you look at it but at the core of it, it's a catchy typographic print blending in elements of Versace's rich design language, given mad props by a culturally significant music artist.
You could say that Versace have cannily and shrewdly jumped onboard the 21st century digital bandwagon for a ride to take Versus to "street" level covetability – you know, get down with the kids and all that shitttttt. But when you compare Donatella Versace's eagerness to become a part of a vernacular and world that her peers quite often shun, it's quite commendable, even if the ultimate goal is profit. Look at the way Saint Laurent Paris has taken umbrage at Sarah Andelman at colette for selling those 'Ain't Laurent without Yves' tees that were hardly going to cut into or damage the sales of Saint Laurent pieces on the shopfloor. Then on the flipside look at Olivier Rousteing at Balmain's significant Instagram following and his ability to laugh at the prolific logo-twisting going on by wearing a "Ballin'" sweatshirt made to look like the Balmain logo. Being able to at least seen to not take oneself so seriously in fashion has cachet in a fashion industry where the status quo is on a constant tilt – kind of like the way these images are moving really.