Democratic Design

A brief history of the diffusion line


Versace for H&M;

In May 2008, Donatella Versace declared she would never follow in the footsteps of Lagerfeld, McCartney, Cavalli and so many others by creating an inexpensive collection for a mass retailer. This fall her modestly priced diffusion line reaches H&M; stores nationwide. Versace's change of heart may have been inevitable. Though once viewed as a crass dilution of haute fashion brands, diffusion lines have become virtually de rigueur for iconic designers in search of a few populist credentials. Here, a look at some of the most memorable meetings of upper-crust fashion with low-price retail.


Isaac Mizrahi for Target The first...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!