versus and co

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I’ve watched Versus Zoom (exams, what exams?) and I have feelings. I need to talk about something.

I’ve always paid close attention to Cisco’s family issues and this episode hit hard. It’s sad seeing people use family as a way to manipulate Cisco. It’s even sadder Barry does it this time.

Under the cut because spoilers and I guess it’s not exactly a popular opinion.

Keep reading

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Here’s a scenario to ponder. You are a cool, young, super-famous musician with a reputation for edginess, a place in history as the man who broke up One Direction, and an equally famous girlfriend. You have been recruited by Donatella Versace to design for Versus: What is the most rock n’ roll way you could announce that?

At last month’s Versus show in London Zayn Malik–for that new designer, of course, is indeed he–came up with a near-perfect answer. This was not to show up to the interview (held jointly with Vogue.com and the New York Times) planned by Versace’s team as the big reveal.

Immediately after the show, the brand’s first since the departure of Anthony Vaccarello to Saint Laurent, Malik was due backstage with Donatella Versace to hold forth on the new capsule, ZAYN X VERSUS, that he will co-design and which will go on sale in May. He will also star in two Versus campaigns next year. Some of the profits from the collection, which will be both womenswear and men’s, will go to charity.

In this age of carefully-crafted image-making, all in the name of commercial gain, it was rather refreshing that Malik, 23, opted to no-show post-show. Instead he disappeared with Gigi Hadid. Respect!

Plus we had the incomparable Donatella Versace to talk to. As a rebellious soul herself, she seemed entirely unfazed by Malik’s exit into the London night.

“I love London!” she said: “If I could move, I would move. But I can’t, right? I can’t get a visa!”

Donatella, of course, stays domiciled in Milan to oversee the family business. And here, only infinitesimally edited, is what she said about recruiting Malik to its ranks.

Versace: “My brother gave Versus to me 20 years ago. Versus was always close to music, linked always. The first Vesus show, the Foo Fighters performed live. And they were young, just beginning. Prince performed another show. Lenny Kravitz performed another show. So it was always where rock and roll and fashion start to meet. And we always called Versus the “Rock Soul of Versace,” of the Versace family. The rebel, the tribe, for the boy or girl who wants to dare…”

“Why I want Zayn now: He can make me talk to his followers. I want to listen to the language, I want to learn. I want to know what they think, what they like. This is a new generation, [which] if I do not go through someone like Zayn I will never reach.”

How did you meet Zayn?

Versace: “I met him when he was in One Direction.”

Were you a One Direction fan?

Versace: “NO!.. [laughs]..no!… But I love Kate Moss, she forced me! She liked One Direction, I don’t know why!… And Zayn really stood out for me because he was the one who talked the least and did not put so much emphasis on himself. And that is what I liked about him.”

So then at what point did you decide though that he was the perfect person for this?

Versace: “When I saw him with Gigi. The way he treats Gigi, like a gentleman: you don’t see this any more.”

Gigi has been front and center [at Versace recently]. Was this a solidifying factor?

“She [Gigi] didn’t say anything. I just saw them together. I went for dinner and I was impressed how mature he was, in a way, how much of a gentleman he was… They are such a nice couple. Both good hearts, open hearts… Tomorrow we start work together… I asked tonight, ‘what do you like?’ And he said: ‘bold! I like the brand bold!’

“Can I say something? I think he is smart to do this together with me now. Not because it is me, but because many rock stars they do their own line in fashion which is not relevant… you know, just a license. For him, this will be real fashion.”

Anthony Vacarello’s time at Versus has finished, so this is a breathing season.

Versace: “It’s the beginning of a new era for Versus. I think of a lot of collaborations with music people, rock stars, more than designers.”

So this will become a regular rhythm for you [and Versus]?

Versace: “Yeah! I have a great team working with me, designer team, my daughter too, Allegra, and two more guys…. It’s teamwork… you need a good team. And you need to give freedom to the team to tell you what you think.”

You’re exploring other musicians [to possibly collaborate with]?

Versace: “For now it’s Zayn, and then we see.”

So it will be like taking the Versus part of Versace on tour every year?

Versace: Laughs: “I’d love that! Can I go on tour?”

Thus the future of Versus might not be to continue the model of designer collaborations most recently seen with Vaccarello, Jonathan Anderson, and Christopher Kane–which proved excellent career moves for all three–but to go on tour every year with a different musician instead. During the interview, at my mention of Versus going “on tour,” Versace began wistfully recalling Guns & Roses gigs when she and Stephanie Seymour hung out backstage.

The musical stars of today might not quite match the blood and thunder don’t-give-a-damnedness of Axl, Slash, and the rest–for these are far milder times. Yet for a mainstream 21st century pop musician, Malik has lived up to his “bold!” agenda. From bailing on the world’s biggest boy band, to wearing that fabulous robot-armed Versace suit to the Met Ball this May, to not turning up to this interview, he displays genuine–not manufactured–independence. Eventually, we did hear from Zayn, via email. Here’s what the email said.

Malik: “It is hard to pinpoint a specific time I first encountered Versace or Donatella. I was four when her brother passed, so Donatella has always visually represented Versace to me. Versace just seeped into my consciousness growing up, possibly through many of my biggest music influences; Prince in the red Versace suit, for example, it’s a part of fashion culture and is iconic. Whether you’re interested in fashion or not you know of Donatella, she is iconic.”

Malik: “I first collaborated with her when she approached me to dress me for the Met Ball and the relationship developed from there. When they made that suit for me I knew it was a brand that wouldn’t be intimidated by big ideas.”

Malik: “The thing I most want to do with this opportunity is learn. Learn about how the process works, learn to be confident in sharing my ideas and of course be part of a process that I feel I genuinely contribute to. I hope that I can develop a collection with Donatella that I can truly say reflects who I am and what I like.”

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