Versace Joins the Eco Revolution

Versace Joins the Eco Revolution

All that glitters is green and gold in Versace's sustainable new Bal Harbour digs.

All that glitters is green and gold in Versace's sustainable new Bal Harbour digs.

Text: Reshmi Kaur Oberoi

The Versace brand is here to stay, and it’s evolving in real time. Last week, the iconic house opened a sustainable design concept in Bal Harbour—a retail initiative close to the heart of the donna herself. “The new Versace concept is a commitment towards Versace’s sustainable legacy,” Donatella Versace says in a statement about the location.

That legacy may have recently come under the providence of American dynamo Michael Kors, but the new location is Italian glamour made manifest, plus a touch of mindfulness. Upon passing through the black-and-white façade, visitors will be greeted by a foyer emblazoned with an onyx-colored Medusa, before entering a kind of geometric hall of mirrors. Buttressed by gold, grid-like beams, the illuminated high ceiling casts a prism of light over the store’s heavenly merchandize.

The lights are regulated for efficient energy use throughout the day, while an automatic climate control system saves electrical energy—not to mention that of employees saved the trouble of fussing with a thermostat. The boutique also boasts an air quality system to ensure staff and customer wellbeing.

Acclaimed architect and interior designer Gwenael Nicolas, who utilized recycled and biodegradable materials, links Versace’s trendsetting status with its newfound green thumb. “Versace is a brand that never ceases to surprise,” Nicolas says. A third-floor mosaic, crafted by Italian artisans, visually recalls the brand’s original trademarks, while the recycled glass used in its construction points to the future.

Located in the cradle of Floridian-chic, the Bal Harbor Versace location embodies the current tension between luxury land and environmental responsibility; as weather intensifies as a result of climate change, such beachside communities will be some of the first to experience it. But in Versace’s view, high-fashion integrity and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive: In the words of Donatella, “There’s no bigger luxury than our future.”

Photo: Courtesy of Versace

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