I think that a poor distribution strategy more than anything else decreased the desirability of the Versace brand. In the States especially, but to a lesser extent in Europe, Versace is very rarely carried by the high-end multibrand chains or boutiques that are considered fashion leaders (Barneys, Jeffrey, Ron Herman at Fred Segal, Saks, Neiman's, etc...). Rather, the Versace brands, especially the many diffusion brands like Versus, Versace Sport, and Versace Jeans Couture, are found primarily in independent men's stores that cater to an "urban" clientele. The result is that the brand has picked up a taint that it can't seem to get rid of it. Somewhat ironic, since Gianni Versace's built his name on drawing inspiration from this flash trash look to the runway. I have seen some Valentino suits that I do like, but I think that the last decade was not kind to Valentino, and that the brand has been greatly diluted by poor marketing similar to Versace. Personally, I am not a big fan of the Versace or the Valentino looks, which are much too flashy for my tastes. Maybe it's very bourgeois of me to prefer the understatement of Armani. European Interloper, I am interested in what you think of Dolce & Gabbana, since their style is quinessentially Southern Italian. On the record, I think the mainline stuff is passable at best, and that the D&G diffusion line (coincidentally made by the same company that makes Versace Jeans Couture, Ittierre) is generally unwearable. I look at anyone who's wearing any of their last couple of collections as true, tragic, fashion victims. In fact, if I were given the choice between dressing head to toe in either D&G or Abercrombie, it would be a toss-up. At least Abercrombie is comfortable and unpretentious.