Fendi (Est. 1925- ) When Carla Fendi (b. 1937) died in June 2017, it made for a coda to the Fendi name which, at its height, was unusual because it was a fully female fashion dynasty. Carla and her four sisters (Paola, Anna, Franca, and Alda) were important in the evolution of the Fendi brand. However, it was Carla who was the architect of its commercial and marketing strategies.
The house of Fendi was established in 1925 by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a fur and leather shop in Via del Plebiscito, Rome. It became popular because its products were of high quality and had a distinct visual appeal. It did not take long for the name to become known outside the capital.
However, it was not until after World War II that the Fendi name evolved into more widespread brand recognition. In 1946, the five, second generation sisters formally entered the company after growing up on the shop floor playing and sleeping among samples and handbags. In 1952, the young designer Karl Lagerfeld (who has often been called. ‘The sixth Fendi child’) began to work with the Fendi family.
Karl Lagerfeld formally joined Fendi in 1965 designing collections and became the Creative Director for Fur as well as the Women Ready-to-Wear lines that launched in 1977. It was Karl who laid the foundation for the brand that it retains to this day. The company’s double F logo was designed by Karl and stands for “fun fur.”
Today, Fendi is known as an Italian luxury fashion house whose specialties include fur, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, eyewear, timepieces and accessories. Fendi is renowned for its fur and fur accessories as well as for its leather goods such as Baguette, 2jours, Peekaboo or Pequin handbags.
The company began to offer Swiss wristwatches in the late 80’s. Lagerfeld believed that the watch should not only attract attention but also express the mood of the owner. His ideas were embodied in collections called, B. Fendi, and were a worldwide success. The letter ‘B’ gave the collection a symbolic sound: “Be like Fendi.”
Both their women and men’s watches have charm. All watch collections including Zucca, Allegra, Epoca, Moda, Rivoli, Spy, Stella, Classico, and others adorn wrists worldwide. These are classic and sports watches with highly attractive designs.
Fendi watches are manufactured in Switzerland and are marked, “Swiss Made” and, therefore, are high quality. In addition, watches are equipped with an ETA Swiss movement. On the back of the case is a serial number.
Watches come in multiple colors including black, mirror-gold and rose. Cases are made of steel and often covered with a sapphire crystal. Some are a combination of white gold and sparkling diamonds with a Swiss movement.
Since 2001, Fendi has been part of the multinational luxury fashion brand LVMH group. Granddaughter Silvia Venturini Fendi continues the family’s traditions in Fendi’s menswear collections that include wardrobe pieces in modern cuts with innovatively treated fabrics, complemented by quirky fur and leather accessories like the popular Bag Bug keychains. Silvia is also the brand’s Creative Director for Accessories and Men’s lines.
Today, Fendi is one of the world’s most renowned luxury lifestyle brands with collections ranging from ready to wear to home furniture and an international distribution network of over 190 boutiques in 35 countries. Until his recent retirement, Lagerfeld continued to contribute to the brand’s versatile appeal.