Why Versace Wiped Clean Its Instagram Feed – WWD

NO POST: Fresh start ahead at Versace? Only time will tell — or better, social media.

The brand has wiped clean its official Instagram account, sparking speculation online over what might be next for the Italian fashion house, especially on the tail of the mega deal that saw Tapestry Inc. acquiring Versace’s parent company Capri Holdings for roughly $8.5 billion earlier this month.

Reached on Tuesday, Versace told WWD that the move is actually aimed at unveiling a new approach to posting, to be shared with its roughly 30 million Instagram followers starting Thursday. 

“Versace will relaunch [its] Instagram channel later this week with the fall 2023 campaign in a magazine style format timed with the new season’s collection delivery in-store and online,” read a statement from the company.

“We are always looking at improving the different ways we talk to our community and bring them closer to our world. This refreshed approach across our digital channels allows us to continue our editorial storytelling and brings our global audience the very best of the Versace content in the best format for them,” the statement continued. 

Further details have not been disclosed, but a selection of campaign images was already released last month, showing the likes of Gigi Hadid, Anok Yai, Angelina Kendall and Karolina Spakowski photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott while donning total-black looks against a white backdrop. 

The Versace fall 2023 advertising campaign.

The Versace fall 2023 advertising campaign.

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott/Courtesy of Versace

It is understood that new images will be shared this week, as the black-and-white in-studio pictures exalting the graphic silhouettes of the collection will be flanked by colored images shot in the historic Versace headquarters in Milan’s Via Gesù. More talents are also expected to appear in the campaign — including Irina Shayk — according to behind-the-scenes images chief creative officer Donatella Versace teased on her personal Instagram account. 

“Our latest campaign celebrates everything I love about Versace: the power, the tailoring, the attitude. On set the models felt strong, empowered, and fierce — exactly how you should feel when you wear Versace,” wrote Versace in a caption.

A behind-the-scenes image of Irina Shayk on the set of Versace's fall 2023 advertising campaign.

A behind-the-scenes image of Irina Shayk on the set of Versace’s fall 2023 advertising campaign.

Courtesy of Versace

This is actually the first time Versace has opted for a content-wipe on its social networks, but the drastic strategy is not new to the fashion world, which has leveraged temporary or permanent social detox in the past to generate hype around big announcements or a new creative direction.

Among the most prominent examples, in 2016 Saint Laurent officially marked the end of its Hedi Slimane era by completely wiping its Instagram history clean to make room for a portrait of the new creative director Anthony Vaccarello

Fellow Kering-owned brand Balenciaga has also proven its skills in editing its social media feed from time to time, either to give way to major announcements, such its haute couture comeback after more than half a century, or to build momentum around the latest collections donned by celebrities including Justin Bieber, as shared in 2021. 

Earlier this year, Burberry also opted for a social clean slate across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to set the table to the brand’s new creative course under Daniel Lee, who was named chief creative officer of the brand last year, replacing Riccardo Tisci. In particular, two weeks ahead of his first Burberry runway show, Lee dropped on social media visuals that gave the first glimpse of his vision of the label, as reported.

The move offered a softer take on a communication strategy that Lee adopted during his previous stint. When the designer served as creative director at Bottega Veneta from 2018 to 2021, the Kering-owned company mysteriously disappeared without a trace from social networks, closing its accounts altogether rather than merely erasing posts. As result, the move gave way to the mushrooming of myriad fan sites and pages that helped generate even further buzz around the brand.

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