› How Fashion saves Italy’s cultural heritage ‹
The Connection between Fashion and Architecture
The new FENDI Headquarters opened their doors in the capital of Italy, Rome… The ‘Square Colosseum’ in The EUR Quarter was originally inaugurated on the 30th of November 1940, and was refurbished early 2015 serving as a new Fashion Icon. The building itself was constructed as part of the program of the ‘Esposizione Universale Roma’, a large business center and suburban complex, initiated in 1935 by Benito Mussolini for the planned 1942 World Exhibition.
From outside the building looks like a Colosseum from the ancient times with it’s 216 arches, surrounded by staircases and statues on every side. The structure emerges on a hill like a fashionable and modern model on the catwalk. The scale is imposing: the base covers an area of 8,400 square meters, and the building has a volume of 205,000 cubic meters spanning a height of 68 meters (50 meters from the base of the structure).
“It wasn’t built as an office building, and that was one of the biggest challenges for the architects and engineers” said Maria Sole Henny, Fendi’s Corporate Affairs Manager. “It was effectively a big marble box. There was no plumbing and no electricity so we had to install all that.” Architect Marco Costanzi headed the makeover of the interior.
Stepping into the building one enters a minimalist marble hall with the Fendi logo, overhead, in front of us. There is a simple elegance to this entrance hall. A very light and shiny area. There is also an exhibition on the side that shows the history of the Palazzo della Civiltá Italiana official name
of the structure and the EUR city quarter as a whole. Design was inspired by ancient Roman architecture, or better referred to as: Rationalism. Even within Rationalism the specific architectural style is often called simplified neoclassicism.
The monumental palazzo reflects the magnitude of the Fendi Fashion House.
› The Luxury Fashion House ‹
Allow me to write a little bit on Fendi, the brand, which is a pillar of the famous: ‘Italian style’ with it’s fashionable yet classical stance. Fendi was founded in 1925 and specialized in fur, ready to wear, leather goods, shoes and accessories. Karl Lagerfeld joined Fendi in 1965 as a Creative Director for fur and women’s ready to wear. During the last century the Fendi Fashion House became a multinational luxury brand. It was established by Adele and Edoardo Fendi. Their daughter, once said:
“Whatever Fendi does it must be distinguishable… it must stand apart… it must have it’s own identity” – Paolo Fendi
The daughter of Paola Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi took part in the life of the brand since her childhood and grew up seeing Karl Lagerfeld fitting women’s ready to wear. She is the only original ‘Fendi’ who remains at the brand. In 1997 she created the famous ‘baguette’ bag. Nowadays she is the Creative Director for accessories and men’s line.
Fendi For Fountains
A grand surprise for visitors to Rome, is that after over a year of renovations, the astoundingly beautiful Trevi Fountain was opened to the public and can be visited again. Fendi invested more than 2 million Euros to help restore it. The Trevi Fountain was designed by Nicola Salvi in the 18th century and is a pivotal part of Roman Architecture. The restoration works started in June 2014 and ended November 2015.
“It’s about tying us with a city that makes millions of people dream” – Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari said.