MILAN — Carla Fendi passed away in Rome on Monday evening, aged 80.
She was honorary president of the Fendi company, which late Monday evening issued a release emphasizing how Carla Fendi “never stopped to actively contribute with unchanged passion to the success of the company that continued to be a reason to live; from the first international recognitions obtained with the help of the four sisters until her last days. She was for all of us a source of inspiration and an example of dedication, work culture and sensibility for beauty. She will accompany us forever.”
Fendi joined the company in the Fifties and with her sisters Anna, Paola, Franca and Aida, helped develop and expand the family-owned venture, mainly in charge of marketing and communication and championing its expansion in the U.S. She forged a strong relationship with Karl Lagerfeld, who last year marked his 50th anniversary as creative director of Fendi.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Prada Group acquired 51 percent of the Rome-based leather goods and fashion house in 1999. LVMH bought Prada’s stake in November 2001, and today controls the company, helmed by chairman and chief executive officer Pietro Beccari.
In 2007, she created the Carla Fendi Foundation, whose goal is to support Italy’s cultural and artistic patrimony. Among others, the foundation has helped restore the Caio Melisso theater in Spoleto, Italy. She was named honorary president of the Spoleto Theater.
Tributes on social media started to flow in after news of Fendi’s passing.