The Fendi’s sisters, Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla and Alda, represent the history of a matriarchal company, now in its fifth generation.
In fact, the fashion house has its roots in 1918, when Adele Casagrande (mother of the 5 sisters), opened her fur workshop.
Only when she married EdoardoFendi, the name of the business became Fendi and, in the workshop, they added a fur shop. It was 1925: in Via del Plebiscito in Rome the Fendi’s sign appeared for the first time.
It will be for the location, it will be for the skill and the class of the models made, it will be for the launch of “Pergamena” (material that starts the characteristic yellow colour), in any case, the Fendi’s spouses achieved a great success over the years ’30.
At the death of the progenitor, the all-female story of the fashion house begins, with the generational shift to the five Fendi’s sisters, daughters of Edoardo.
FENDI’ SISTERS: THE 5 FINGERS OF A HAND
Nicknamed the 5 fingers of a hand, because each one is necessary to carry out its function, under the motto “The union is strength”, as the mother repeated to them: Paola, artistic and creative, took care of the furs, Franca , oriented towards external relations with customers, she became responsible for purchases, Carla, media oriented and with international ambitions, she coordinated the company bringing it to the levels of notoriety she has today, Alda, responsible for the atelier for sales and, finally, Anna, specialized in leather goods and responsible for planning and licensing.
The entrance of the 5 sisters in the management of the atelier represented the incipit of a success story, which led Fendi to establish itself as the symbol of luxury, class and elegance, to become a real empire where, from the furs , it has expanded also in the men’s, women’s and children’s fashion sectors, accessories and fragrances and, finally, in that of the home.
The surprising detail of this history is that none of the five sisters had the gift of drawing fur models, but all agreed to persevere in that activity and, in order to do so, they relied, in 1965, on talent and intuition of the designer Karl Lagerfeld.
He was the creator of the logo with the two crossed F, from that moment, a hallmark of the Fendi’s house that, in addition to representing the initials of the name, was born as an acronym of a new concept of style: “Fun Furs” and, that is, funny furs, created for non-classic use, but deconstructed, colored and by the most disparate models to wear.
This is the period in which, in addition to furs, the fashion house also begins to process leathers for the production of bags, so that, in 1972, Sophia Loren was photographed by Vogue with the Fendi’s leather bags and, in the article , declared that those were his favourite bags. From that moment, Fendi’s bags and furs began to circulate in all the jet set environments and to be worn by VIPs.
This is the decade in which the Fendi’s sisters start collaborating with Italian cinema; all the most important Italian directors, from Visconti to Zeffirelli, from Fellini to Bolognini, want Fendi’s furs for their characters.
Not only that: all the greatest actresses like SilvanaMangano, Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren, as well as becoming customers, also become friends with the Fendi’s sisters.
The all-female tradition of the winning management of the fashion house is perpetuated also in subsequent generations.
This is the case when Silvia VenturiniFendi, daughter of Anna, joined the company in 1987, taking the creative reins of the fashion house, becoming the director of the men’s collection and accessories.
The synergy between her creativity and the foresight of Lagerfeld, leads to the launch of the legendary “Baguette” in 1997, which has become an icon in the world of bags.
Its name originates from the shape, a rectangle with a very short shoulder strap, to be worn under the arm: just like a baguette!
It become a real must have of international divas; timeless, chameleonic, able to change every season and follow the trends of the period: minimalist in the 90s, full of details and decorations, today.
In addition to the baguette there are many other it bag of the house to have become famous.
• The “Saddlery” line: hand-made bags on request and customized according to customer’s tastes, so as to become, each one, a unique and exclusive piece. Each bag, in fact, has a number indicating how many seams or stitches were needed to achieve it.
• The “Peekaboo“: a true style icon, with a very particular closure, a single handle joined to the central twist and the removable shoulder strap. Peekaboo literally means “hide and seek”, to emphasize an internal more important than the exterior.
• The “By the Way“: better known as the famous “Fendi’s trunck bag” pendant, removable shoulder strap and zip closure on the head.
FENDI’S SISTERS: LOVE FOR ART BECOMES MECENATISM
The managerial spirit of the Fendi’s sisters has always pushed them to look with great attention to new markets, such as the opening of the first store in New York, but also not to ignore their cultural roots.
The company, in fact, has always had a strong feeling for the city of Rome, a treasure chest of its primordial history, and many initiatives have been implemented to demonstrate it, such as the restoration of the Fontana di Trevi on the occasion of its 90th birthday, where , at the end of the works, an exceptional fashion show was held: “Legends and Fairy tales”.
Sovereign symbol of this bond with its roots is Palazzo Fendi, opened in 2005, in the heart of Rome, to celebrate the 80-year history of the fashion house.
A real temple of luxury with restaurant, terrace for happy hour, a luxury suite and a wing dedicated to shopping with a reserved glass elevator, to emphasize the attention and respect for privacy.
The attention to culture and art permeates the company in its essence: essence that comes from the noble and sensitive minds of the Fendi’s sistersAlda and Carla (now disappeared from the fashion scene).
Drived by a strong patronage, in fact, each of the sisters gave life to a foundation that has been, and is, committed to contributing and assisting in preserving the cultural heritage and values of the past and ensuring its continuity and growth in the future.
An example of this is the opening of “Rhinoceros”, commissioned by AldaFendi, a space where art, architecture, culture and history find a happy and original synthesis, a real art city, where it is possible to live and dwelling.
The strong and unconventional touch of Nouvel, called by Alda for the external and internal design of the building, is evident in the architecture.
In short, Fendi is not just a simple fashion house.
Fendi is art, culture, roots, obsession with research, ability to reinvent shapes and workmanship with creativity and imagination, but above all, luxury, good taste and elegance!
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