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Fendi’s Restoration

Fendi is Rome and Rome is Fendi.

The fashion house has always loved to emphasize the importance of the capital, its birthplace, in its work. Rome does not live only in the creations of the brand, nor simply its name inscribed under Fendi’s logo; its monuments, works of art, narrow alleys and beloved architecture are an integral part of Fendi’s identity. This is where the family has chosen to live and work. It is here that the company is headquartered.

The relationship is very much mutual: over the years the Maison has often become the flagship of the Eternal City, capable of making it contemporary in its classic perfection. On the other hand, despite its numerous shops spread all over the world, on many occasions Fendi has been able to transform the capital into the brightest of its windows. But this is not without the company first thanking the much loved backdrop by contributing to the restoration of many of its artistic monuments. An inevitably close bond, almost as if they had a love affair, is determined by a deep fascination for ancient Rome; of the emperors, the gods and Venus of amazing beauty. 

The fashion house has always been much more than just a company for the city. The Maison has always stood out among those who were able to weave dreams and clothes, proposing itself as a true patron of art, committing itself to donating funds in the name of the restoration of artistic assets. Fendi has always been proud of being able to return its beauties to Rome. Being able to give back to the roots from which it is established, perhaps even nourishing those roots, so as to keep alive the fascinating dialogue between past and present.

The company was founded in 1918 when designer Adele Casagrande opened a modest leather and fur workshop in the central Via del Plebiscito. In 1925, after her marriage to Edoardo Fendi, this became the Fendi boutique — success was immediate. In 1965 Adele and Edoardo’s five daughters Paola, Franca, Carla, Anna and Alda hired the German artistic director Karl Lagerfeld in 1965. The company thus became one of the most luxurious brands in the world, achieving massive success and numerous awards, without ever breaking its link with Rome, a place which remains a continuous source of inspiration for collections, advertising campaigns and photo shoots.

Fabrics that marry the sculptural bodies of the models, luminous nuances that frame their face and skin to perfection, and even soft lines and dizzying fabrics that leave you speechless for their incomparable beauty are just some of the well-known characteristics of the brand. Fendi has always been at the top of the renowned Italian fashion icons, distinguishing itself for its innovative creative direction. 

In 2015, the maison took office inside one of the most significant structures in the city, an icon of Italian rationalism in the futuristic EUR neighborhood: the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. The building, known by the people as the Square Colosseum and designed in 1937 by Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Lapadula and Mario Romano, houses an area of ​​over 1000 square meters for exhibitions open to the public. The Palazzo appears in the list of restorations of artistic and cultural assets financed by Fendi and displays, on the main facade, the famous phrase: “A people of poets, artists, heroes, saints, thinkers, scientists, navigators, of transmigrators.”

At the Palazzo, on the occasion of Fendi’s 90th anniversary in 2016, the exhibition “Fendi, The Craftsman of Dreams” was inaugurated. The exhibition proposed a poetic itinerary, but above all it was full of suggestions and allusions within the wonderful metaphysical world of the renowned fashion house. A parallel, almost surreal world, which was accessed with only one key: the imagination. The exhibition proceeded in several rooms and on several sensory levels, revealing all the Maison’s admiration for Roman charm. 

While the exhibition was held in EUR, that same year Fendi paraded on a transparent catwalk over the Tiffany blue waters of the Trevi Fountain in the city’s historic center. Entitled “Legends and Fairy”, thanks to a unique optical illusion created by the Plexiglas catwalk, models wrapped in hoods and ethereal dresses inspired by Kay Nielsen’s Nordic fairy tales seemed to float on the surface of the water, amplifying the evocative effect of the show. The event also inaugurated the historic fountain which was in disrepair before it was restored due to Fendi and the Fendi for Fountains initiative.

In 2019, just before the world stopped Fendi organized another enchanting parade in front of the unique and majestic Flavian Amphitheater, the Colosseum. As with the Trevi Fountain, Fendi has donated ample funds for long and intense restorations of the Colosseum.

In over 90 years of history, the maison has celebrated Rome in every possible and imaginable way, transforming it into its home, constant inspiration, and renowned set. Someone to love and to return to every time. Someone to be protected and venerated in her perfect imperfections. Choosing to parade in front of her monuments is synonymous with this indissoluble love, it is like promising her once again that this bond will never be broken.

A story that begins and stops (only temporarily due to the current situation) in the most eloquent and elegant way. A story that looks like a fairy tale and that, like any self-respecting story, transmits the desire to become its protagonist.