Fendi began life in 1925 as a leather goods shop in Rome, offering horse saddles and carriage fittings. Happily for us, it later moved into the world of humans and produced ready-to-wear and women’s accessories by the end of WWII. It’s been on the up and up since: the inimitable Karl Lagerfeld, brought in as creative director in 1965, worked alongside super-stylish Fendi scion Silvia Venturini and transformed the brand into the fashion powerhouse that it is today. Here are five of the top items and looks that have defined the house throughout the decades.
The brainchild of Venturini, the Baguette was launched in the late 1990s. Designed to be casually carried under the arm like the French bread it’s named after, the pochette quickly became the sac du jour when Carrie Bradshaw was seen with it numerous times in Sex and the City. Astoundingly, more than 700 different styles have been produced to date and all of them retain the iconic interlocking double-F logo.
In continuation of Fendi’s heritage as a fur workshop, Karl Lagerfeld introduced the brand’s first ready-to-wear fur line in 1969. It has since produced some of the most luxurious and sought-after furs in the world – everything from sumptuous mink jumpers, to adorable miniature monster charms. A pioneer in creating fur coats as fashionable items, Fendi is celebrated for its expertise in tinting luxury furs with edgier colours.
Back in 2005, the newly launched Fendi Spy bag had a waiting list of up to a year. It was hardly surprising, really – like any it bag worth its salt, the Spy garnered a high-profile following, including the likes of Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham. Fashionistas loved its instantly recognisable double-braided handles and curved, sack-like shape.
The highlight of AW15 couture week? A Fendi silver-dyed sable coat estimated to cost €1 million. Not a purchase for the faint-hearted or, indeed, the empty-walleted. However, the pricey garment was snapped up right after the show by a high-roller, leaving the rest of us to admire it in pictures.
This year’s Fendi couture collection, appropriately named Legends and Fairytales, featured models dressed in ethereal garments, looking magical and ‘walking’ on water across Rome’s Trevi Fountain – a clever illusion created with a clear plexiglass catwalk. Despite the unforgettable setting, the clothes more than held their own. One lambskin dress stood out in particular: it had a lace-like aesthetic, thanks to 5,000 painstakingly hand-cut holes in its rose pink material.