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History of the Fendi Brand

Tthe House of Fendi has a rich Italian history that began in Rome, and with nothing more than hard work, dedication and an amazing sense of the ‘right now’ has become an international force to be reckoned with.

From the streets of Rome, to the Great Wall of China, Fendi never ceases to amaze the world. It is a house of style, innovation, elegance and grace.

Timeline:

  • 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.
  • FUN FACT: From the 1930’s to 1940’s, the houses’ popularity grows and reaches outside the Roman city. It is said that to Romans, a trip to Fendi was a date with certain distinction.
  • 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.
  • FUN FACT: Having the Fendi women join the company gave a fresh insight into women and what it meant to be a women in post-war. It was the five Fendi sisters’ who took notice of a young, up and coming French designer, Karl Lagerfeld. The discovery of Lagerfeld changed the House of Fendi. Lagerfeld brought a whole new way of designing furs.
  • 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.
  • FUN FACT: Kanye West once sported the Fendi logo, shaved into the back of his head.
  • 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.
  • FUN FACT: The baguette is an instant success and is made in different and unusual materials. It becomes a collectors item and a must have for Fendi lovers. The supermodel, Naomi Campbell, was fired from her position as spokesperson for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after she was seen at a Fendi show wearing fur.
  • 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.
  • FUN FACT: 8 is said to be a very lucky number in China.
  • 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 stored in 25 countries worldwide and continues to be one of the most coveted and sought after labels in the world.

Celebrity Fans:

  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones in Sex and the City
  • Kate Bosworth

Fendi in the Press:

  • Lifeinitaly.com – November 2008: Fendi is all about high fashion and drama, with innovative creations and collections that never fail to impress and surprise the fashion industry.
  • New York Times Review – 1987: Many of the new Fendi developments in fur design are technical in nature. They involve refinements in working the pelts as well as in printing and dyeing. Even the long-haired furs look supple, light and as drapable as fabric.