Founded by Adele Casagrande in 1918

Designer Biography Fendi

Adele Casagrande was born in 1897, when she opened a leather and fur shop in Via del Plebiscito in central Rome, Fendi was created. When Casagrande married Edoardo Fendi in 1925, this led to the company’s name later being changed. Having five daughters together, their business was a success, so a new shop was opened in Via Piave in 1932.In 1946 the eldest daughter Paola went to work for the business at only 15. Her sisters, Carla, Anna, Franca and Alda all followed on to do so. When their father died in 1954, the daughters took over the business and began to expand with their first line, introducing Furs.
In 1965 a marriage between the Fendi’s and designer Karl Lagerfeld created success for both sides. With Lagerfeld creating the inverted FF logo the company soured with the five sisters and Lagerfeld sharing the work. The following year Fendi produced their first couture fur collection, designed by Lagerfeld which received success from foreign buyers. Martin Traub, president of Bloomingdales, was impressed and introduced Fendi’s leather goods to the United States.

In 1969 Fendi produced its first ready-to-wear fur collection to immediate success. Almost ten years later in 1978 the Fendi founder, Adele Casagrande, died at 81 years old.

In 1990 the label Fendissime, created by the daughters children, employed Gianbattista Valli as designer for a year. The 1990s saw Fendi’s customer base grow with their chic accessories. In 1992, Selvi Fendi, the granddaughter of Adele Casagrande was appointed as creative director, replacing Karl Lagerfeld. She was responsible for creating the best selling Baguette bag. In 1999 the company sold a 51% stake to Prada and LVMH in a joint venture. However, in 2001 Prada sold their stake to LVMH. Known as one of the largest and important Italian fashion houses, Fendi in inextricably linked with fur and is known for their fine quality, attention and care in choice of fabrics and mix of materials.

In 2002, Prada divested its 25.5 percent ownership stake in Fendi to LVMH for a sum of $265 million. LVMH subsequently acquired an additional 15.9 percent of the company. Carla Fendi, a member of the founding family, retained her position as chairwoman and a minority shareholder until 2008.

Fendi made history in 2007 by selecting the Great Wall of China as the venue for its spring-summer collection fashion show, marking the first-ever fashion event held at this iconic location.

In 2009, Silvia Venturini Fendi introduced the Peekaboo bag, which achieved a level of success comparable to the iconic Baguette Bag.

During the 2010s, Fendi explored innovative methods to showcase its runway collections, including plans to incorporate drones for runway presentations. In 2015, the brand celebrated its 50th anniversary by hosting its inaugural haute couture fashion show dedicated to furs. Subsequently, it marked its 90th anniversary with a fashion show at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. In 2016, the company ventured into the hospitality industry by opening a hotel and inaugurating its largest store at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana.

By 2018, Fendi had achieved annual sales exceeding 1 billion euros and boasted a global network of 215 stores. In September 2020, Kim Jones assumed the role of artistic director for Fendi’s women’s collection, succeeding the late Karl Lagerfeld. Under Jones’ leadership, Fendi collaborated with Kim Kardashian West’s Skims brand on a clothing collection.

Fendi expanded its brand presence into various sectors, including Fendi Kids, fragrances, eyewear, and home furnishings under the Fendi Casa label. The company also ventured into real estate endeavors, such as the Fendi Château Residences in Surfside. Additionally, Fendi collaborated with renowned film directors and dressed numerous celebrities.

In terms of philanthropy, Fendi actively engaged in sponsorship of restoration projects and provided support to museums and exhibitions. The brand also participated in charitable initiatives, designing a T-shirt to raise funds for children suffering from serious illnesses.

Fendi has encountered legal disputes related to counterfeit goods, including lawsuits against Burlington and Filene’s Basement, which resulted in settlements in its favour

Fendi Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

5 thoughts on “Fendi

  1. Fendi was created in 1925,and nw the family of Edoardo fendi has join hands in making it a wonderful company to,and i love fendi product,like for real

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