Fendi RTW Spring 2024
This evening’s Fendi show featured the house’s newest menswear collection and the new €50 million leather goods factory, which produced all of the bags that accompanied Silvia Venturini Fendi’s 57 designs. The factory is located in Bagno a Ripoli, a Tuscan hamlet 30 minutes outside of Florence. The long, low, terracotta-colored structure is roofed with greenery and is intended to blend into the terrain. Butterflies flitted around the sunlight herb gardens outside, while a few dedicated fans gathered in the parking lot.
We were encouraged to stroll and marvel inside, pre-show, as the fully-staffed factory pretended to go about its business as though 400 or so sweating menswear workers were not present. Throughout the event, a man behind my table proceeded to work a brightly dyed calf hide with his laser-guided cutting equipment. A cheerful signora patiently tolerated my questions while hand stitching a Peekaboo. Silvia stated from her corner office that “here is where our work collides with our sense of family.” When a collection is approaching, they ask their artisans to work extra hard as they produce prototypes and make last-minute alterations, and they are all devoted.
Silvia’s grandmother Adele began the enterprise in a Roman shop with an upstairs backroom 100 years ago next year. Silvia remembered her father driving her to the atelier (a later, bigger one) after work to pick up her mother Anna. Adele would stay even after the bell rang. “Because there’d be a line of employees waiting to speak with her about work and personal matters, because it was all family.”
The word ‘artisan’ conjures up images of the past and, to some extent, analogy. What was particularly noticeable today was how many of the crafters employ very sophisticated technology to supplement their handiwork. As the results of their artisan intelligence rolled down the runway, the workers kept working.
Apart from the bags, the collection was inevitably shaped around their labor, then seasoned with the genteel kink that has become a recurring theme here. Workwear with topstitched and hammer-loops was replicated in leather or heavy drill. Work aprons and tool belts were turned into skirts, one of which was completely furnished with a set of traditional leather-working tools. Many of the elements were dyed with naturally-derived colours to symbolize the building’s embedded nature. Net vests and gowns, for example, were nettle-colored. A few pieces of tailoring included raised jacquard depictions of the flora that surrounding the workshop. Clog-like slingbacks were merged with modern molded soles in shoes and sneakers. Toolkits and schematic diagrams of numerous home bag designs were included in the prints.
Other specialties under the Fendi metiers umbrella were highlighted by some crazily created items in woven mink and shearling. There were other trophy pieces made of plant materials, such as a sequence of wefted, blurred F-logo jacquards in indigo and undyed denim. The modest sensuality of the house was portrayed by halter neck shirting that revealed the back and two bodies that left a flash of human hide at each hip. Fendi invited us in today, and while much of what we saw was manufactured for our advantage, it also appeared to be extremely genuine. The expressions on the faces of the scores of colleagues Silvia led out at the conclusion attested to this.
Fendi is one of the most iconic fashion houses and has been a leader of the Italian fashion industry for nearly a century. Founded in Rome in 1925 by Edoardo and Adele Fendi, the brand is now run by their granddaughter Silvia Venturini Fendi and has become a powerhouse in the global fashion world.
Fendi’s first foray into the luxury market was its iconic “baguette” bag, which was released in 1997 and featured a quirky shape, playful colors, and intricate beading. Since then, Fendi has become a go-to for women everywhere due to its exquisite designs, craftsmanship, and quality materials. But it’s not just about bags—Fendi also produces leather goods, footwear, ready-to-wear garments, and accessories such as sunglasses and watches.
One of the secrets of Fendi’s success is its commitment to making every item a work of art. Each piece is meticulously crafted by the brand’s team of experienced artisans, who use innovative techniques to create items that are both luxurious and timeless. Every garment is given a special “Fendi” touch, making it truly one-of-a-kind.
Fendi is also renowned for its collaborations with celebrities and influencers, such as model Cara Delevinge, who designed her own line of handbags for the brand in 2014. These collaborations offer something unique to the fashion industry—they’re constantly innovating with up-and-coming trends and styles, as well as focusing on traditional elements that make Fendi a timeless classic.
Over the years, Fendi has cemented its place in the fashion world as a timeless and luxurious fashion house. The Fendi name is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship, and innovation, making it a go-to brand for fashionistas everywhere. Long may it reign!