The Italian luxury brand has reopened its boutique in The Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue after an expansion that has enabled it to double the selling space and introduce a striking new store concept in the region.
“This is the true new generation flagship,” said Serge Brunschwig, chairman and chief executive officer of Fendi, from the company’s Rome-based headquarters.
The boutique, which first opened in November 2018, has gained a second floor and an additional 3,888 square feet, enlarging it to a total of 7,560 square feet.
In a first, the store features three VIP rooms, located on the second floor — one dedicated to couture, the other to art de la table, and a third to bejeweled Peekaboo bags. Fine jewelry is also being introduced and launched exclusively in Dubai. “This is a new world of retail,” Brunschwig enthused.
It is telling that the store opened in Dubai, an evolution of the new unit in New York inaugurated last year, and which will be followed by boutiques in Tokyo and Seoul next year.
“The Middle East is a very important area for us and Fendi’s positioning is super compatible with the region and its desire for true luxury,” explained Brunschwig, adding that Fendi’s children’s line also performs very well in the area, where families are very prolific, he said. “We at Fendi share the value of family,” he noted.
Incidentally, the company just opened a store in the new wing of the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, which the executive characterized as “spectacular,” inspired by the brand’s headquarters in Rome’s Palazzo della Civiltà.
There are 20 Fendi stores in the Middle East.
“More than ever, physical retail is a priority, it’s always been so for Fendi,” observed Brunschwig. “Yes, we do have an online business and digital is important, but as part of our omnichannel platform, to facilitate a dialogue with customers, but a personal contact and building relationships is our priority. Hospitality and a sense of physical touch are indispensable.”
Designed by Fendi’s internal architecture department, the flagship, which carries the full women’s and men’s collections, reflects how the brand “is a master of materials,” said Brunschwig, for its expertise and craft in working fur or wool and cashmere made to look like fur, for example.
A striking round elevator, made of glass and gold specks, alights onto the opulent Yellow Diamond room on the upper level, which carries a golden display of exotic leather goods and Fendi fur pieces. From this area visitors can access the three VIP rooms, each defined by a gem, a tailored fragrance and dedicated floral compositions.
The White Diamond room, which offers couture collections and boutique-exclusive Japanese inspired pieces, features geometric cuts of Alaska marble through the champagne-colored metal wall. This room is adorned with musky white flowers and its scent is creamy.
The Amber room offers a preview of the brand’s home decor and lifestyle accessories collection, introduced earlier this year as part of the Fendi Casa line and under Silvia Venturini Fendi’s creative direction. It includes tableware crafted in fine French Limoges porcelain — its plates distinctive with their Fendi O’Lock logo in black and white, creating a chain in micro and maxi versions highlighted by touches of gold; Murano glass vases; scented candles and cashmere pillows and soft plaids, and table games such as backgammon, tic-tac-toe and domino. A dining table is set up in the room, which is scented with leathery, fruity and woody fragrances, and marked by Patagonia black and white marble and touches of wood.
The Sapphire room, characterized by a shell shape and the bold Onice Bluette marble, features a powdery floral and citrus scent, and offers a singular-edition pair of bejeweled Peekaboo Mini bags, crafted to celebrate the reopening of the flagship.
One is a camel shaded crocodile skin model with an 18-karat gold finishing and a closure embellished with 12.9-carat white diamonds. The other is entirely embroidered with crystal beads dipped in 24-karat gold. It has crocodile details with an 18-karat gold finishing and a closure with 12.3-carat white diamonds.
A room in the shades of white and with champagne metal details is also accessible directly from the mall, which carries furs — including limited-edition and one-of-a-kind pieces — fine jewelry, ready-to-wear and a special exotics capsule — a Peekaboo installation in emerald, amethyst and amber, in fine exotic leather.
The fine jewelry collection is designed by artistic director of jewelry Delfina Delettrez Fendi exclusively for the boutique’s reopening.
Nuanced with the FF logo, sketched by Karl Lagerfeld in 1965, the 13-piece capsule reinterprets the symmetry of the double “FF” and Fendi First single inverted “F” in 18-karat yellow gold and diamonds. The collection fuses rigid curvilinear shapes with sparkling solitaires that twist and turn in sinuous curves. Baguette-shaped diamonds accentuate the horizontal bars of the FF logo and sparkling rows of round-cut diamonds.
Fendi’s first high jewelry collection was launched in Paris last July, as reported.
The silver and champagne-colored metal facade of the store offers a modern reinterpretation of classic Roman patterns, with the two floors connected by geometric diagonal and glass windows emphasized by LED arches. These are reminiscent of the arches of Fendi’s headquarters in Rome. The glass windows are embellished with storied Lagerfeld sketches.
Brunschwig highlighted the “incredible research on the marbles,” such as the Italian Arabescato Vagli marble stretching throughout the boutique in a nod to Roman churches. There is also marble from Brazil.
Fendi Casa furniture and bespoke brass and Marmo di Rima display tables by Italian artist Roberto Sironi are key elements within the store, as is a site-specific installation, an avant-garde handmade 3D glass focus with gold leaf inside.
The women’s ready-to-wear area is illuminated by a soft palette of ivory and pink, accentuated by hues of warm champagne tones and featuring precious Cristallo Tropicale marble tables.
The menswear space has more masculine tones, with green and camel shades, featuring a green Patagonia marble table and a handmade silver plaster back panel with the FF motif. The boutique presents exclusive leather goods for men, including the Soft Trunk Baguette.
As an homage to both the boutique reopening and the 25th anniversary of the Baguette bag, Fendi is launching a silver Baguette with matching Fendi First slingback heels, which are only available at The Dubai Mall.