Fendi 101:
A History in Tradition

By Koyaana R. July 29, 2020

Fendi History 101

This Italian luxury fashion house whose specialties include…

fur, leather goods, and ready-to-wear is a namesake in any fashion-savvy individuals’ vocabulary. Currently led by the granddaughter of Edoardo and Adele Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi is now at the helm of the house at which generations of the family still work.


The Beginning of Fendi

The luxury house was founded in Rome in 1925 by Edoardo and Adele Fendi. Starting off with small and medium leather goods, they quickly became known for their handbags with a secret side hustle selling fur goods. Eventually, their five daughters began to help run the business, it was their fresh ideas and perspective that opened up new opportunities for the brand. In 1965, the Fendi family invited German designer Karl Lagerfeld to help with the creative direction for the house. It was his quick thinking that brought to life the double F motif that is now associated with the eponymous label.

Fendi History 101

The Evolution of the Fendi Logo

Courtesy of 1000 Logos

Fendi’s Growing Success

Karl Lagerfeld completely changed how fur was worn by incorporating it in new ways in ready-to-wear items and adding it to the house’s leather goods. The brand’s fur accessories and clothing exploded and the sector gained popularity quickly. Fendi’s fur atelier has produced some incredibly remarkable pieces over the decades, moving fur from being used primarily for large heavy coats to utilizing it for intricate and delicate details on a variety of goods.

Fendi is anything but safe or basic; signature handbags and accessories are reinvented every season

Fendi History 101 Runway

Courtesy of Luxuo

Fendi History 101 Runway

Courtesy of Hello Magazine

Over the years Fendi has produced countless showstopping ready-to-wear masterpieces as well as many “it” bags. Fendi is anything but safe or basic; signature handbags and accessories are reinvented every season and are embellished with sequins, fur, studs, and intricate flower appliques and mixed media to craft imaginative faces and eye-catching patterns.

Fendi History 101 Bag
Fendi History 101 Bag
Fendi History 101 Bag

Fendi’s Italian Pride

Fendi has made it very clear over the years that they are proud of their Italian roots by becoming involved with making sure their beloved country is preserved. With origins deeply entrenched in Rome, Fendi has strived to ensure the rich history is preserved and protected. To that end, in 2014 Fendi donated over 2 million euros to restore the historic Trevi Fountain in Rome as part of their ambitious Fendi for Fountains initiative.

Italians and tourists alike were thrilled with the renovation that restored the fountain to its former glory. It was open to visitors during construction with bridges and scaffolding over an empty pool, allowing a closer look to the fountain than was typically allowed. To mark the occasion of its reopening after the complete restoration, Fendi hosted their Autumn-Winter 2017 on top of the historic landmark.

Fendi History 101 Trevi Fountain Show
Fendi History 101 Trevi Fountain Show

Courtesy of Daily Mail

Fendi’s Standing Today

Fendi has long been one of the few houses that are still run by a legendary family. The five Fendi sisters have stayed in control of the brand’s designs, along with Karl Lagerfeld until his passing in early 2019, for decades. When LVMH purchased the controlling stake of Fendi in 2001, the Fendi sisters remained active within the company to ensure that the family’s contribution to the house’s flair and aesthetic continued.

Currently, Fendi is deliberating who will take the place of the iconic Karl Lagerfeld as creative director. No successor has yet been chosen but when the time comes, we know that Fendi will not let us down.

Excerpts used from an article published on February 27, 2018, by Priyan R. Article has been updated for consistency and accuracy.