NEARLY a century ago, Adele Fendi travelled from Rome to Florence to learn what would later become the foundations of the House of Fendi – leather. Recently returning to the Tuscan countryside to open their new factory in Capannuccia, the brand’s new centre of all things leather, the menswear and accessories artistic director, Silvia Venturini Fendi decided to dedicate the spring-summer 2024 collection to this full circle moment.
Highlighting the craftsmanship that her grandmother learnt about all those years ago, the show was housed in the new factory, inviting us in to get a glimpse of the heralded expertise of Fendi. Not only inspired by the location and its meaning, Silvia Venturini Fendi wanted to translate the process of creation between man and machine, linking the past and present into SS24.
Balancing contrasts throughout by exploring the grey area between nature and innovation, and industrial and handmade, the designer introduced a new archetype named ‘corporate artisan’. Workwear belts were designed with patchwork, aprons were transformed into halter neck collared shirts and skirts became feminine additions to tailored trousers and shorts.
Reflecting the hues of the area and the building itself, the artistic director toned down the colour palette of the collection, slowly going from shades of burnt umber and terracotta to deep indigo and sage. Raw materials like woven paper textiles, nettle fibre and unbleached cotton became the foundations for this new silhouette, finding themselves at the heart of SS24, proving that few can do Italian savoir-faire quite like Fendi.
While many always find themselves returning to their roots for inspiration, Silvia Venturini Fendi’s homage to the House’s beginnings through meticulous craftsmanship and by spotlighting those who have paved the way for years behind-the-scenes, highlights the rare family feeling that these legacy brands were built upon. With fame favoured by many designers, it’s a refreshing outlook that Fendi have decided to go into SS24 with – the ultimate example of what ‘mi familia’ means.
by Imogen Clark