90 YEARS OF FENDI

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Once upon a time, there were two lovers in Rome – Adele and Eduardo – who lived happily with their leather goods boutique.

Year after year, their family of five daughters worked hard to create beautiful and authentic apparel and accessories. To celebrate 90 years of this family’s work, the Fendi company transformed the iconic Trevi Fountain into a catwalk fit for the storytelling of their wares.

Indeed, models walked on water! It was an amazing show under the stars, oozing quintessential Roman charm. The high fashion collection for A/W 2016-17, Legends and Fairy Tales designed by none other than Karl Lagerfeld – is a magical fairy tale told through embroidery, pelt details and prints portraying Medieval images of princes and princesses, castles and woods.

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Photographer Sandro Sabatini.

 

Long white dresses and furs also transport us back to the Middle Ages, and yet every piece retains a touch of innovation and modernity. Bags and heels are in harmony with the garments, and the famous Baguette was transformed into an embroidered case with a handle cord.

It’s no coincidence that this company is a decade away from nearing its century mark. In Rome, Fendi’s on par with names such as Valentino and Capucci. Fendi had actually held a show on the Great Wall of China. It’s rich history is utterly incredible, so here’s a quick timeline of this timeless fashion house.

It all began in 1925, when Adele and her husband Eduardo opened a leather goods store in Rome. In 1946, after their father’s death, their daughters Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla and Alda took over and worked together to run the family business.

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Photographer Sandro Sabatini.

 

In the 60s, Karl Lagerfeld took over as artistic director at the maison, and committed himself to research new techniques to work the leather. In the 80s, Fendi joined the luxury category, and made its mark as a prominent Made in Italy brand, especially thanks to its fur coats. Karl designed the double F logo which is used for the lining of their suitcases. The Fendi furs have made exclusive appearances in movies, contributing the cinema italiano effect. The first Fendi fragrance also made a statement these last ten years.

In the 90s, Alda designed the Baguette – a little bag with a short shoulder strap to be carried under the arm, like a French bread. The Baguette was reproduced in 600 various models, and instantly reaped success. A photo book of 250 pages celebrating the bag depicts actress Sarah Jessica Parker, Japanese writer Banana Yoshimoto, the MoMA director Paola Antonelli, and fashion writer Quirino Conti.

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Photographer Sandro Sabatini.

 

In 2013, Fendi opened two new boutiques of design in Paris Avenue Montaigne and Milano Montenapoleone. These mark a new chapter for the firm, with art, fashion and interior design coming together within two extraordinary spaces.

The company is nowadays managed by Maria Silvia Venturini Fendi – Anna’s daughter – and Karl Lagerfeld. Together, they design accessories and male and female apparel. From Borgognona Street to New York’s Bloomingdales, Fendi stores can be found in every part of the world. Their products are stylish, elegant and loved by every woman.

Karl-Lagerfeld-and-Silvia-Venturini-Fendi Image: Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi