Fashion One features Christopher Kane parts ways with Versace’s Versus

The Scottish designer, who has been creative director of the Versus line for the famous Italian brand since 2009, is parting ways with Versace amidst fevered speculation that he will join Balenciaga.

Versace has announced that it will be bringing an end to its collaboration with young London fashion superstar Christopher Kane in a shake-up that will see Donatella Versace collaborate with a series of different young creatives and abandoning the traditional runway season schedule.

"Digital is the new, key word that describes the Versus tribe. Versus is the young heart, soul and spirit of Versace," announced the brand Monday.

According to Versace, Donatella Versace will maintain creative control of Versus, collaborating "with young designers, stylists, and creatives from different walks of life, to develop capsule collections, co-branding projects, limited editions."

Details are not fully clear, but presentations are not set to match traditional fashion week calendars, and will not necessarily take place in the form of physical shows. The first event for the new-look digital Versus is planned for March/April 2013 in New York.

The departure will only add fuel to the fire of speculation that Christopher Kane is destined for the top job (recently vacated by Nicolas Ghesqiuère) at Parisian label Balenciaga. The word from Versace is that Kane is leaving to "focus on the development of his own line," the London-based Christopher Kane label he established with his sister Tammy in 2006. Press reports including France's Nouvel Observateur and New York magazine have linked the Scot with the Balenciaga job, but there has been no official announcement.

Kane's spokespeople told WWD that "rumors surrounding Christopher Kane's appointment as creative director of Balenciaga are unfounded."

In 2010 Kane won the prestigious Vogue Fashion fund, and was awarded £200,000 to invest in the business as well as a bespoke mentoring support program.

Donatella Versace spoke warmly of their collaboration with the 30-year-old London fashion star: "I want to thank Christopher for his contribution to Versus over 6 seasons, during which I have been able to appreciate his extraordinary talent... I wish him all the best for the development of his own line. He will always have my total support."

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