Fashion is Fun, but only a Few maisons would take that sentiment to heart as much as Fendi. the brand Founder's granddaughter proFesses her admiration For past artists and intellects
Fashion is a fickle subject. Trends come and go; a brands’ signature can change season after season. Of course, constant reinvention is exactly what makes up the backbone of the industry. This is certainly nothing new for Silvia Venturini Fendi, granddaughter of Eduardo and Adele Fendi, founders of the famed Italian house known for furs and, more recently, “it” bags. As a matter of fact, it was Silvia who came up with probably the most recognizable “it” bag for ladies in the late 1990s and 2000s: the Baguette bag. Then, she pushed forward with the Monster bag and, last year, the FendiFaces bag for men. While fashion keeps changing, it seems that Silvia really knows how to ride that unpredictable wave of change.
All that, however, might not become immediately clear when you look at Fendi men’s spring/summer 2017 show. There was a pool in the middle of the catwalk, and the collection showed a lot of artistic interpretations that gave a new lease on life to the funlooking FendiFaces. It was also quirky and artsy, with Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso as just two of the collection’s many inspirations.
Fur, which has been the brand’s forte, also underwent a new transformation. To recreate fur in a way that would be apt for summer, Silvia shrewdly used terrycloth—a material primarily used for towels—for a new range of light jackets and other essentials for men. It is that notion of luxury “imitation” that appears as a leitmotif connecting Fendi’s icons through the years, from the Baguette bag which obviously resembles an actual baguette to the Monster and FendiFaces that take after their real-life counterparts.
And then there’s one final inimitable ingredient to their recipe for success: Silvia’s fun personality along with her penchant to cheekily poke at men’s fashion and bring out that Italian flamboyance in all of us. DA MAN: What inspired Fendi men’s spring/ summer ’17 collection? Silvia Venturini Fendi: The collection is really inspired by summertime and by the sun. I would call this collection sun and fun. That is why I decided to have the models walk by a pool [for the runway show]. DA: Comfort and snugness seemed to be the highlights the fall/winter 2016 collection. What about the spring/summer ’17 collection? SVF: This collection is about enjoying life and simple pleasures like being by the pool and smelling the fresh air with your feet on the grass. It is about the sun and also keeping a fun element in the collection. DA: Figures like Salvador Dalí and David Hockney were said to inspire the collection. How did you select the artists? SVF: I was also very much inspired by people that have been breaking the rules of the conventional way of dressing, like Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dalì—artists that have been dressing with very personal clothes. That’s why I called an artist to work on our iconic stripes, the Pequin, that was so popular in the ’80s and ’90s for our travel line. We did beautiful watercolor on our Pequin stripes. DA: Terrycloth appeared to be a unique element in the collection. In what way was the fabric incorporated into the designs? SVF: The collection is made of simple clothes with very light and fluid fabrics to give off an easygoing attitude. The flowing, washed silks and viscose