The power of the human touch is something inextricably linked to the house of Fendi. After all, it began as one of the first fur workshops in Rome during the mid 20s. This season, the storied Italian house sent shockwaves through the fashion world when it announced that drones would be making their runway debut at their AW14 show. It might have been a first for the fashion world, but for Fendi’s CEO Pietro Beccari it was “just another example of [their] capacity to surprise.”
Yesterday, Fendi brought their electric vision to London with a new flagship store. Filled with a series of rare art commissions – from Humans Since 1982’s work “A Million Times 72”, to Maria Pergay’s oversized tree installation (made from exotic skins) – it’s a real treat for the eyes. Reinforcing Fendi’s heritage of sisterhood, the fashion house showcased its latest Peekaboo project. Inviting ten iconic women – including Tracey Emin, Jerry Hall and of course, Cara Delevingne – to interpret their classic bag, the initiative raises money for charity Kids Company. During the launch, we caught up with Pietro Beccari to talk drones, Karl and why London is the ultimate place to make a statement.
Sitting here you really feel the presence of craftsmanship and the hand made, but then with the AW14 show you pioneered drones on the runway. Is that contrast exciting for Fendi?
Pietro Beccari: Yes! In Italy, Fendi has this grain of craziness and of pushing the limits. Carla and her sister chose Karl when he was a young and unknown designer because they wanted to disobey their mother. They wanted to create a company with one person behind it. They wanted to create a new way of wearing fur. So, the moment Karl started cutting, mixing and treating fur like it was a very rough material with no value – that was something crazy. That was the moment it was decided that Fendi would be a company that dared to go beyond the limits. So, I think the drones are a good example of our capacity to surprise. Not many people have had the courage to put six spiders in the room that could fall on the editor’s heads!
At least that didn’t happen!
Pietro Beccari: It was also a message to the younger generation that Fendi has something for them, like the bag bugs for example. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are able to have classic antiques, steel and crocodile in the same store. Life is beautiful!
Why was it so important for Fendi to have such a strong presence in London?
Pietro Beccari: I love London. It’s a place where you can really make a statement. London is a city of the world and one that embraces diversity. I want clients from the street to enter the store and to leave with a different impression of Fendi.
Fendi has always had such a strong relationship with the arts, how has that evolved with this store?
We believe we have a very specific relationship with the world of design. In the new store we have an original commission by Maria Pergay. It’s a palm tree made of steel with real crocodile skins. The work is sort of a pun, so it’s a bit of second degree humor! We also have work from the Campana brothers, Locatelli and one of Thierry Lemaire’s tables. Thierry Lemaire is now a designer also for Fendi Casa, so this link between design and our design company is getting stronger and stronger. It makes for such a warm atmosphere. One in which you want to stay and spend some time drinking a coffee, even if you don’t want to buy anything. You can admire the pieces of furniture that we put together in this store.
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