FENDI

Fendi is a high fashion Italian company, known for its luxurious fur and leather goods. Read the history of the historic brand with the double F.

Index

  1. The Origin
  2. Karl Lagerfeld Creative Director
  3. The Third Generation
  4. LVMH Acquires Fendi
  5. The Success
  6. The Recent Years
  7. Celebrating 50 Years of Collaboration with Lagerfeld
  8. Current Situation

The Origin

Italian house of furs and leather goods. One of the first brands of the Made in Italy movement to become world famous. The company was established in Rome 1925, as a small shop for leather goods, and a secret fur workshop, on via del Plebiscito. The founders, Edoardo and Adele Fendi, developed the brand, but the true success started with the second generation. The next generation was represented by five sisters, Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla, and Alda. They brought new energy and ideas during the boom years that caused the brand to flourish.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi First Original Store in Rome
First Original Store in Rome

Karl Lagerfeld Creative Director

In 1964 Fendi opened a historic boutique in the heart of Rome on via Borgognona. The next year their collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, who succeeded Bert and Cruz, marked the birth of the brand. Lagerfeld is known for the way he transformed the concept of fur. He reinvented a garment that had traditionally been considered pompous, bulky, and not always easy to wear. With Lagerfeld as creative director, fur acquired a softness, wearability, reversibility, and became “fun fur”, a staple in the brand DNA that still exists today. At the same time, he searched for new materials, treatments, experimental techniques, and the rediscovery of forgotten and overlooked furs.

Mame fashion Dictionary: Multi Colored Fur Bag Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 Collection
A Multi Colored Fur Bag from the Autumn/Winter 2016/2017 Collection

Over the years the Fendi bag lost its image of status-symbol, and became more functional. Leather was printed, dyed, and woven. The double FFs, in black and brown, were immediately recognizable and combined with stripes and squared patterns. In the 1970s came the granapaglia, a type of calfskin worked in a special way with scratches. The Giano, Astrologia, Pasta and Selleria lines, all completely handmade and in limited numbers, were created.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: 5 Fendi Sisters With Karl Lagerfeld
5 Fendi Sisters With Karl Lagerfeld

The Third Generation

In 1977 Lagerfeld launched the fashion house first ready-to-wear collection. By 1987, the third generation, represented by Silvia Venturini Fendi, daughter of Anna, took place as Creative Director for accessories and men’s lines. She launched the Fendissime line, which included furs, sportswear, and accessories for a younger market. Two years later, they opened their first store in New York on Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, the empire of the five sisters enriched itself with numerous licenses, including knitwear, bathing suits, jeans, umbrellas, watches, eyeglasses, ceramics, furnishings, and linens. In total, about twenty licenses, besides furs and leather goods.

At this time, about 80% of the production was exported. In Italy and abroad there were about 100 boutiques and 600 points-of-sale, with a turnover of about 600 billion liras, which put Fendi in fourth place among the brands of Italian prêt-à-porter. Fendi has created theatrical furs for both stage and screen, notably for Gruppo di Famiglia in un interno (1974) and The Innocent (1976) by Visconti, La vera storia della Dama delle Camelie (1980) by Bolognini, La Traviata (1983) by Zeffirelli, Interno Berlinese (1985) by Liliana Cavani, Carmen (1986), The Age of Innocence (1993) by Scorsese, and Evita (1996) by Parker.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Silvia Vetturini Fendi
Silvia Vetturini Fendi

LVMH Acquires Fendi

By the end of 1999, the company is at the center of many buying appetites. After endless sales rumors, the maison ran under the control of Prada and Bernard Arnault, who was the Louis Vuitton owner. LVMH, in a joint venture with Prada (Lvp Holding), acquires 51% of the company, but management remains in the hands of the Fendi family. Later on, Prada began selling its shares to LVMH, which in 2004 acquired 84% of the shares. Of the five Fendi sisters, Carla Fendi’s only major shareholder remains.

The Success

In January 2001, Fendi collaborated in a joint venture with Aoi, a 30 years distributor of the brand in Japan. The new company, called Fendi Japan K: K, is on the market from the spring-summer 2001 collection.

Since 2002, the Men’s collection has been produced for 5 years by Ma.co. Company of So. Lather this year, they launched the Salleria collection, a made-to-order service for handmade leather goods including the famous Baugette and Peekaboo bags. This gives the customers an opportunity to fully customize their bag, seen as a true luxury.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Salleria Collection Custom Service and Handmade
Galleria Collection: Custom Service and Handmade

Fendi continues to stay involved with contemporary events including the exhibit Goddess, at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the most prestigious events in New York that spring, displays two dresses donated by the Fendi Archive in 2003.

Also, a special moment in April 2005 in Rome, the 18th-century palazzo Boncompagni Ludovisi becomes Palazzo Fendi. They build a new headquarters, and with its opening, the house celebrates their 80th anniversary. Later, in 2010 they launch kids wear and Fendi Home.

In the year of 2007, Fendi staged an unforgettable fashion show at the Great Wall of China with 88 models and a 1,500-mile-long catwalk.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Fashion Show at the Great Wall of China
Fendi Fashion Show at the Great Wall of China

The opening of a new boutique in Paris in 2008, however, took place with a private concert of Amy Winehouse for just 400 guests.

The Recent Years

This Italian house continues to get involved with new project and innovations. In 2011, they were chosen, due to its common values of craftsmanship and tradition, to collaborate with the Maserati “GranTurismo Convertible”. It was overlooked by Silvia Venturini Fendi and featured materials created in various colors specifically for it. It had Fendi’s double F logo stitched into the seats, in the center of the 20-inch Trident design alloy wheels, and side sills.

In 2013 the group started the restoration work on the fountains in Rome. They began with the Trevi Fountain, and followed up with the Quattro Fontane. To the brand, this is more than charity. This showed Rome and Fendi share a deep connection. Fendi is rooted in Rome, and has always been its muse. Later, in June 2013 they sign a contract with Safilo Group S.p.A. for the production and worldwide distribution of sunglasses and eye-glasses’ frames.

As for 2014, the brand took another step towards technology. Unveiling luxurious new headphones created in collaboration with Beats by Dr. Dre. The Fendi X Beats by Dr. Dre was announced in Fendi’s Men’s Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show in Milan. Later, the brand collaborated with Zaha Hadid to create a layered leather handbag, which was part of a collection of creations by famous UK-based women, to be auctioned to charity.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre
Fendi Beats Headphones by Dr. Dre

For the first time ever, the maison uses drones in order to video record its fashion show in 2014. Later, the fashion house buys 49% of Taramax SA’s shares, a luxury-watches- specialized business. This action will allow them to have a more important presence in the luxury-watches market.

Celebrating 50 Years of Collaboration with Lagerfeld

In 2015, under the wings of Lagerfeld, Fendi presented their first “Haute Forrure” collection during couture week in Paris. Fendi’s internationally renowned line of fur helped to differentiate the brand form its competitors as one of the few designers with a full range of fur offerings.

Later, Fendi, with the help of, architect Mario Nanni, moved its headquarters into Palazzo Civilta Italiana, which was built in 1942, to celebrate the EXPO. Unfortunately, the event was never held, but the first floor of the new building has remained a dedicated space for contemporary art exhibitions.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Collection of Micro Bags for Spring/Summer 2015
Collection of Micro Bags for Spring/Summer 2015

In the same year, Fendi payed homage to its collaboration with Lagerfeld, celebrating the 50 years as creative director, with the book “Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld”featuring exclusivematerial telling an amazing story of heritage, creativity, and modernity. This is the longest relationship betweem a designer and a luxury fashion brand in the industry.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: The Book of Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld
The Book of Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld

In 2016 they completed the restoration and opening of Palazzo Fendi in Rome, on the corner of Via dei Condotti and Piazza di Spagna. The building hosts the Japanese multi-starred Zuma restaurant inside. At the 2nd floor, there are private apartments for celebrities, VIPs, and friends. At the 3rd floor, there is the Fendi hotel, which consists of 7 imperial suites. On the terrace of the last floor there is a lounge bar.

For their 90th anniversary, on July 7, 2016 they host their haute couture A/W 2016/2017 fashion show at the Trevi fountain (Rome), whose restoration has been supported by the Roman maison. Also, they hosted an exhibition, Fendi Roma- The Artisans of Dreams, to explain the production process of the fur and creativity elements.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fendi Fashion Show at the Trevi Fountain
Fashion Show at the Trevi Fountain

Current Situation

Currently, the fashion house is performing strong with a turnover of more than €1 billion. With Pietro Beccari as CEO, and Carla Fendi, the only family member still involved with the company, chairman and president. Creative director’s Lagerfeld and Silvia continue to work side by side in the success of Fendi, remaining the only brand to have an in-house fur atelier.

VALENTINO

Valentino: the fashion emperor and his great love for the iconic Valentino red. Read the story to learn more about the Italian designer loved by the Hollywood stars.

Index

  1. The Origin 
  2. The First Fashion Show
  3. Valentino and the Hollywood Stars
  4. HDP Buys the Company 
  5. 40 Years of Career
  6. Valentino Joins the Marzotto Group
  7. The New Lines
  8. Farewell to the Catwalks
  9. Creative Directors: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli
  10. The Recent Years

The Origin

He was born Graduation Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, also known as, Valentino Garavani (1933). Italian fashion designer. Ever since he was small, he clearly showed his idea of style and elegance. It was an aspect that clearly emerged in the first outfit that he created for his aunt Rosa, the owner of a passementerie shop in Voghera, in the Via Turin, where he loved to spend his afternoons playing with bolts of cloth.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Red
Valentino Red

Even then he especially loved red: a color that, in later years, would become his good-luck charm and the strong suit of his palette. He understood this when, during his apprenticeship with Jean Dessès in Paris, he went to the Opera in Barcelona and was overwhelmed by the entirely red stage costumes:

“It was at that moment that I understood that, after white and black, there is no color more beautiful.”

At age 17 Valentino leaves Voghera to learn fashion in Paris. His speed at sketching models immediately won him a job with Dessès, where he worked until 1955, and then moved to a position with Guy Laroche, which lasted until 1957. That was the year in which he returned to Italy, and opened, with his father’s help, an atelier in Rome in the Via Condotti. From a young apprentice designing the shadows for major atelier, he was now the owner of his own business. His debut took place in Rome, and was understated. It was, in fact, a fiasco, and he failed to sell even a single item.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Young Designer at his StudioYoung Designer at his Studio

The First Fashion Show

In those years, he became acquainted with Giancarlo Giammetti, a student of architecture who would become his manager and his administrator, as well as his communications director. In 1962 in Florence, Valentino was the last to present his collection in Palazzo Pitti. The hall overwhelmed with a deafening roar of applause.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Sala Bianca July 1962 Florence
Valentino Sala Bianca July 1962 Florence

“My mother said to me: ‘You hear them? They want you, because you’ve done it, you’ve won.’ Less than an hour later, I had sold my entire collection and I was swamped with orders.”

Since then, his successes has followed one upon the heels of the other, punctually, season after season. “The Americans love this Italian who has become the king of fashion in just a short while,” wrote Woman’s Wear Daily in 1968, after a dazzling runway presentation all in white, studded with capes and lightly draped outfits.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino 1968 White Collection
Valentino 1968 White Collection

“Creativity,” said Valentino, “is difficult to explain, it is like an internal force, an enthusiasm that never wanes and which gives me the strength to continue working in new ways. As I look at things and people in the street, my imagination continues to march and my ideas take shape through my pencil.”

Valentino and the Hollywood Stars

His volcanic flow of new ideas for women and refined elegance left an indelible mark in the jet set. Farah Diba fled from her crumbling empire wearing a Valentino suit. Liz Taylor met Richard Burton while wearing Valentino. Jackie Kennedy married Onassis in a Valentino outfit of ivory lace that, for years, women copied around the world. The list of celebrities that have worn Valentino is endless: Sophia Loren and Nancy Reagan to Brooke Shields and Sharon Stone. There are few who have been able to resist the allure of his outfits, a synthesis of luxury and grace modulated with modernity.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Jackie Kennedy Wearing Valentino Dress when she Married Onassis in
Jackie Kennedy Wearing Valentino Wedding Dress

He reinvented bows, transforming them into a symbol of femininity: one of his first outfits embellished with this detail won a legendary burst of applause that lasted for ten full minutes. He is an absolute master of his profession, technique, and the way he transformed this artisanal ability into a compass by which he charts the ongoing continuity of his line.

In 1978, through a manufacturing agreement with the Gruppo Finanziario Tessile, he launched his first line. Over time, the number of lines has grown to eight, including menswear and womenswear of ready-to-wear fashion. Since 1968, he has presented his collections of prêt-à-porter on the runways of Paris, as he has also done since 1989 with his haute couture creations. His success has never known decline, it seems immune to flops and comebacks. But Valentino is especially proud of having created the Life Foundation to raise funds to help children afflicted with AIDS.

Elizabeth Taylor in Valentino Red Dress
Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Elizabeth Taylor in Valentino Red Dress

A reality that came into existence in 1990, the same year in which the fashion designer celebrated in Rome and Milan his thirtieth year in business, with an exhibition at the Accademia Valentino, a space designed and equipped for exhibitions and cultural events.

HDP Buys the Company

In January 1998, the “Rolls Royce of fashion designers,” as the Americans call him, sold his griffe for 500 billion liras, the annual turnover of the maison was 1.2 trillion liras, amidst much weeping, and maintaining a place for himself as the creative director, to HDP, the holding company run by Maurizio Romiti.

He said: “I have seen too many of my colleagues being ushered out of their ateliers through the tradesman’s entrance, in order to make way for new creatives who have then undermined the originale style of the maison…”

Valentino is a private man, but he also knows how to engage in polemics with stylish irony. When the American journalist, Suzy Menkes, the terror of fashion designers, stated in 1990, the end of the phenomenon of top models had arrived, and criticized those who continued to use them. Valentino replied by purchasing a full-page advertisement in the International Herald Tribune: “Suzy, you’ve got it all wrong. Love from Valentino and the top models” was the slogan beneath a photograph of Claudia Schiffer, Nadya Auermann, and Elle McPherson.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Designer in his Eighteenth Century Castle
Designer in his Eighteenth Century Castle

He lives and works in Rome, Capri, London, New York, and Paris. He purchased an eighteenth-century castle just an hour away from the French capital, which he considers as his refuge. He refuses to allow it to be photographed. The only pictures that have been taken show Valentino as he strolls in the immense park with his pet pugs. There is a vast forest, which he minimizes, describing it as: “Big enough to go horseback riding in.”

40 Years of Career

In 2001, Valentino, much loved by the stars of Hollywood, chose to celebrate his 40 years of business in Los Angeles. The party, a benefit for Child Priority, was organized with Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Tom Hanks, and Rita Wilson. During the evening, there was a book presentation of Il libro rosso di Valentino, edited by Franca Sozzani, contains pictures of 40 women including Ashley Judd, Ines Sastre, Isabella Rossellini, Kate Moss, and Mila Jovovich dressed in “Valentino red” and depicted by the most important photographers of the time.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Il Libro Rosso di Valentino
Valentino Il Libro Rosso di Valentino

That same year, in March, Julia Roberts received her Oscar wearing “vintage” Valentino. Gleaming in black silk in the mass media helped to launch what would become one of the most significant trends of fashion in recent years: vintage.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts Wearing Vintage Valentino at Grammys

In February 2002 he represented Italy, with its historic and rare capacity to blend creativity and craftsmanship with taste and superior elegance, during the culiminating ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, broadcasted around the world.

Valentino Joins the Marzotto Group

In March of 2002, after months of negotiations and rumors, HDP sold the Roman griffe to the Mariotto Group for €240 million Euros, including the financial debts accumulated over recent years, which on 31 December 2001 amounted to €204.4 million. Valentino Intimate and Valentino Sand were the first creations of the new management. With a three-year licensing agreement, the Como-based company, Albisetti, took over production and distribution rights worldwide for the intimatewear and men’s and women’s swimwear collections. The new lines debuted at Lingerie Americas, the first event in the sector held in the United States, which from 4 to 6 August 2002 featured 22 Italian underwear labels at the Pavillion Altman Building in New York. There were more than 125 manufacturers invited from around the world.

The New Lines

In the first two months of 2003, Marzotto had a 1.8% increase in turnover, to be attributed for the most part to the consolidation of Valentino.
In May, Valentino, with a series of his “cult” outfits, took part in the exhibition, My Favorite Dress, at the Fashion Textile Museum, a London fashion museum built at the behest of the fashion designer Zandra Rhodes in the neighborhood of Bermondsey, south of the Thames.

Later, he launched the Valentino Timeless watches and the youth line Valentino R.E.D. (Roman Eccentric Dressing), which reinterpreted his unmistakable timeless modules such as jeans, but also his more classic items such as the short “Jackie” overcoats or the “V Logo” of 1968, by now part of fashion history.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino RED Valentino Line
Valentino RED Valentino Line

The success of the watch line prompts the brand to propose, in 2004, also a jewelery line. 2005 opens with the debut of the fragrance V Valentino, created in collaboration with Procter & Gamble. Over the year, bid diversification expands to 360 °. There is, for example, the licensing agreement with Spanish Pronovias for the production and marketing of a line of bridal dresses, and the alliance with Arnolfo di Cambio for the creation of a home line dedicated to the Art de La Table. Meanwhile significant corporate reorganizations involve Valentino S.p.A. And its subsidiaries: these maneuvers will give birth to the Valentino Fashion Group (VFG), which sees the light at the end of the year.

Farewell to the Catwalks

At the beginning of 2006 Matteo Marzotto became president of Valentino S.p.A., while the position of CEO was Stefano Sassi. After the important reorganization of the group, 2007 is devoted to grand festivals for the nine years of master’s activity. At Ara Pacis, a retrospective entitled Valentino in Rome was inaugurated: 45 years of style, in conjunction with the High Fashion show in July. Obviously, in September, the protagonist of the fashion designer’s passageways is announced: in October his last collection, standing ovation and general emotion, is taking its place in Paris.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Exhibition 45 Years of style
Valentino Exhibition 45 Years of style

The designated heir is Alessandra Facchinetti, reduced by a collaboration with Gucci and Moncler Gamme Rouge, while the men’s collection, entrusted to Ferruccio Pozzoni, takes place in the Ville lumière.

On January 23, 2008 Valentino waved his last goodbye at the Spring 2008 Haute Couture Fashion Show at the Musée Rodin. The room was lined with his contributions to the fashion world and models paraded down the runway in his iconic element, the red gown. He took the final walk down the runway while receiving a standing ovation for his contributions over the past 45 years.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino's Farewell Collection
Valentino Garvanni Farewell Collection, Paris 2008

At the end of 2008, however, the end of the collaboration between Alessandra Facchinetti and the maison was announced.

Creative Directors: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, creators of the line of accessories for the brand, take on the creative direction of the clothing line. In 2009 the collaboration with Ferruccio Pozzoni also ends. In 2011, Valentino posted a net profit of €2.6 million in the first six months of the year, compared with the red €7.4 million in the same period in 2010.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli
Creative Directors: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli

On September 7, 2011 Anna Wintour handed Valentino the Couture Council Award for Art in Fashion 2011 in New York. Valentino does not renew the liaison with Safilo and signs an international license agreement with Marchon, effective from January 1, 2012, for the production and distribution of sunglasses and glasses. In January 2012 Valentino’s guesthouse is the special guest of Pitti Uomo 81 in Fortezza da Basso in Florence. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli present the A / I 2012, which is 13 men’s collection, presented at a fashion show for the first time.

The Recent Years

Valentino celebrated 50 years of career and inaugurates a new store concept and a vintage capsule collection. The Milan Montenapoleone shop was designed by architect David Chipperfield, along with Chiuri, and Piccioli. The maison, since Chiuri and Piccioli have been appointed, has seen a period of strong evolution.

In 2012, Valentino Fashion Group’s entire shareholding was acquired by Mayhoola for Investments S.P.C., a subsidiary of Qatar’s primary investor for €600 million. At the end of the year, the brand launched the “Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum” opening a window on the designer’s world that left the creative direction in 2008.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum 2015
Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum 2015

The luxury group closed 2013 with revenues up 25% to around €490 million. Also, 2015 closes revenues up 48% for €986.9 million and an ebitda almost doubled to €180.2 million. Valentino officially announced on July 7, 2016 the appointment of Pierpaolo Piccioli as the sole creative director of the Roman house following Maria Grazia Chiuri’s decision to leave the company after 17 years, of which 8, were as co-creative director with Piccioli.

In 2016, the second-line license goes to OTB’s Staff International. The license will continue until at least Spring / Summer 2018. Luxottica Group and Valentino have signed a license agreement for the spectacle collections. The new agreement, lasting ten years, is operational since January 2017.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Valentino Spring / Summer 2017 Fashion Show
Spring / Summer 2017 Fashion Show