On the 7th of July the city of Rome celebrated the most iconic fashion brand’s 90th birthday. Fendi choose the beautiful Trevi Fountain as the place for it’s spectacular fashion show as the brand financed the restoration of this wonder. The ‘Legends and Fairytales’ Haute Fourrure Collection, designed by Karl Lagerfeld, once more an example of the unique craftsmanship, daring creativity and expression of the excellence of the Roman Maison. The Trevi Fountain’s water and play of lights fused with the catwalk rhythm giving life to an iconic Roman atmosphere. International topmodels walked down the transparent catwalk placed on water during sunset time as floating fairies.
The fashion show was followed by breathtaking dinner at Terazza del Pincio in Villa Borghese, that hosts one of the most amazing landscape views of Rome. Walked through a corridor immersed in Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches since 1965, a special artwork called ‘Gust of Wind’ conceived by the internationally renowned designer Paul Cocksedge Studio. An unexpected and circular “Fendi Fountain” was constructed embracing the dinner venue to underline once again the profound and historic bond between Fendi and the Roman Fountains.
The next day we were invited to the preview of the exhibition FENDI ROMA- ‘The Artisans of Dreams’ at Palazzo della Civiltá Italiana’s first floor, designated to host exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, followed by a brunch on the terrace of the first floor of Palazzo della Civiltá Italiana. The exhibition, open to the public starting from the 9th of July, is conceived to celebrate the Maison’s unique craftsmanship and creativity, founding and distinctive elements of the luxury Roman House core values.
During the few days celebration the ‘Legends and Fairytales’ collection was on display at the Palazzo Dama hotel which is the latest and most fashionable luxurious point in the heart of Rome.
Fendi, together with Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, celebrated on this occasion, 90 years of the Maison’s great revolutionary worldwide achievements, avant-garde experimentation, unlimited research and innovation, proposing new luxurious and modern fur designs and accessories.
A little bit of Fendi history:
1925: The House of Fendi is established by the Italian couple Edoardo and Adele Fendi, and was originally known for being the first handbag and fur workshop in Via del Plebiscito, Rome. The design house was immediately recognized for the quality and craftsmanship of the Fendi Products.
1946: Edoardo and Adele’s five daughters began to work for the family business. Poal Fendi was one of the first sisters of the five to begin with the family business at the young age of 15. The other sisters soon followed.
1960’s: The “double f” is created and becomes a symbol that will forever be the signature of Fendi. Karl Lagerfeld created this iconic logo.
1962: Fendi launches the Fendissime line. Lagerfeld started the line with the input and cooperation of the Fendi sisters. This line was seen as the ‘young’ line and was probably better known as Prada’s Miu Miu line. This line is now discontinued.
1964: Fendi opens a store on via Borgognona, the most elegant street in the city of Rome.
1965: Fendi begins to look at and use furs that had once been pushed to the side for various reasons, often because they were looked at as ‘poor’. They begin to experiment with dyeing and tanning and other unique ways to create products. The Fendi sisters and Karl Lagerfeld begin to transform Fendi into the design house it is today.
1966: Fendi releases their first couture collection under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld. Because of the success of this collection, Fendi has the attention of the world like never before.
1968: Fendi bags are discovered by Marvin Traub, the President of Bloomingdale’s and the handbags make their first American appearance in New York. This year also marks the expansion of Fendi into the Japanese market.
1969: Fendi adds an industrial prét-a-porter collection to the handmade production of furs. The Fendi bag is transformed into a more soft looking style than the original rigid handbag that was common. Fendi’s very first RTW fur collection is launched.
1977: The ready-to-wear apparel collection is launched, incorporating the same principles and sense of style that had brought Fendi to the height of success it has seen up to this point.
1984: The Fendi collections are expanded into ties, gloves, scarves, sunglasses, jeans, and home furnishings.
1985: The National Gallery of modern Art in Rome holds a celebration of Fendi for its 60th anniversary and the collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld for 20 years. The exhibit was called ‘FENDI-Karl Lagerfeld, a working history’. This celebratory year also marks the first Fendi perfume, Fendi for Women.
1988: The Selleria collection, a completely handmade collection originating from Adele Fendi. This collection was going back to the basic and early ways of creating a collection of handbags, travel bags and other leather goods. This was released as a limited edition collection that flew of the shelves.
1990: Fendi begins to dabble in creating a men’s collection.
1994: Restructuring of the organization of the Fendi company leads to Carla Fendi being named President of the Boards. She takes this role over from her sister, Paola Fendi.
1997: The creative director of Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi, leads the house to the creation of the Fendi Baugette.
2001: The LVMH Group takes over Prada’s share of the Fendi house.
2004: The LVMH Group becomes the sole owner of Fendi, as it takes over the Fendi share of ownership.
2005: The spy bag is created by Silvia Fendi as a follow up to the success of the baguette. Fendi celebrates the 80th anniversary, and in celebration opens Palazzo Fendi in Rome. Within the Palazzo Fendi headquarters there is studios, fur atelier, and the largest Fendi boutique in the world.
2006: The B bag is created and launched.
2007: On October 19th, Fendi became the first fashion house to stage a fashion show on the Great Wall of China. This was one of the longest shows ever with a catwalk of 88 meters and had 88 models to walk to walk the history-making catwalk.
2008: February 28th, in celebration of the opening of the 22 Avenue Montaigne Fendi store, a concert by Amy Winehouse, international superstar, was held and saw the audience of 400 guests who attended the private show.
Today: Fendi has 160 stores in 25 countries worldwide and continues to be one of the most coveted and sought after labels in the world.