Top fashion house, Versace SpA Italy, said it plans to strengthen its presence in Asia and to boost its partnership with the Philippine-based retailer Linea Italia Group (LIG).
Pino Merlo, Versace's Asia Pacific business development manager, visited Manila to meet with Linea Italia Group chairman Freddy Panicucci, and fashion consultant Fernando Fornaciari.
"I see a lot of tourists and a growing upper middle class that will be interested in imported goods," Dr Merlo said. "We're looking into possibilities to diversify outside Metro Manila."
Dr Merlo disclosed that Versace is currently expanding its operations in Asia: "Our company is bolstering its image in the region. We're doing this through strengthening our relationships with franchisees and establishing new joint ventures and through media.
"We have just established a PR office in Japan with very good results. In fact, we could hardly cope with orders for samples for the Japanese press."
Dr Merlo believes that the label's success lives on even after Gianni Versace's death and the Asian crisis in 1997.
"We are focusing on what the Versace group should be after Gianni, and to offer a collection inpired by the vision we shared with him. Donatella Versace is a very good designer and art director, while Santo Versace is a very good businessman," he said.