Italian fashion company Versace introduced its first high jewelry line, consisting of non-reproducible pieces featuring diamonds, emeralds and other precious stones and metals, during its haute couture show at the Paris Ritz earlier this week.
"As a designer and a collector of fine jewelry I have always wanted to offer the same quality of craftsmanship in jewelry as we offer with the Atelier Versace fashion collection. Each individual ring from the collection is a work of art," current Vice-President of the Versace Group and chief designer Donatella Versace said in a statement, as cited by the Financial Times.
With this week's jewelry launch, Versace joins other high fashion and apparel producers, such as Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes and Bottega Veneta, who have ventured into the niche of fashion branded fine jewelry, according to the news source.
Currently, branded fine jewelry is estimated to represent only 19 percent of the global fine jewelry market compared to branded leather goods and branded eyewear, which represent 50 percent and 38 percent of the markets, respectively, the Financial Times reports, adding that only 5 percent of the branded fine jewelry market is in the hands of big branded jewelers like Cartier, Tiffany, Graff, etc. On this basis, it is believed that branded fine jewelry's share of the market could double in size by 2020, Thomas Tochtermann, a Director at McKinsey, says in the news report.
Versace is planning to establish standalone fine jewelry stores, according to Versace Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris.