MILAN — Karl Lagerfeld associated the Fendi brand with fun and that’s what the Rome-based company is referencing once again by teaming with Nicki Minaj on a new capsule collection due to be launched online on Oct. 14 and in 52 Fendi stores on Oct. 16. The capsule is called “Fendi Prints On.”
Minaj teased the capsule on her Instagram account at the end of July, as reported.
“This is an exercise we started a few months ago, we have a long relationship with music and interesting associations with Beth Ditto, Amy Winehouse and more recently Jackson Wang, who wrote ‘Fendi Man’ that was so successful,” Fendi’s chairman and chief executive officer Serge Brunschwig told WWD. “Nicki was friends with Karl, she is a friend of Silvia [Venturini Fendi] and of the house. For a long time we’ve wanted to do something together and we’ve been busy following up on what Karl wanted to do with us, such as the couture show in Rome. She is a great artist and one of the best rappers. Fendi shares great affinity with her. She represents one of Fendi’s dimensions, the fun aspect of the brand and she will present it extremely well.” Last year, Minaj paid homage to Fendi in her song “Chun-Li.”
Ironic, playful and flamboyant, the collection features the FF logo all-over pattern combined with metallic, shimmering surfaces and rich textures. There are oversize reversible puffers and coats or a nylon organza windbreaker but also super-tight silhouettes with a plethora of details. For example, a cascade of sequins is embroidered on a tulle dress, asymmetric cut-outs flash out of a body-hugging dress and a mink and sheepskin bomber is embellished with knitted sleeves.
“Yes, she is extreme, but we are not afraid of that and found it very interesting working with her,” said Brunschwig, defining the collection “very colorful and strong; it makes a statement. We are super happy.”
References to hip-hop culture are made via a silver tracksuit, and graphics stand out on T-shirts and sweatshirts. Bodysuits, one-piece swimsuits and triangle bikinis complete the lineup, along with the Eighties’ hidden wedge trainers.
This being Fendi, accessories are key in the capsule, with metallic silver sequins or embossed FF logos adding a futuristic touch to the Peekaboo and Baguette bags in all sizes, as well as the newly launched Kan U and a multiaccessory belt bag. The Baguette and a maxi tote are updated in an unexpected pink version. A combination of shiny silver, fluo pink and performance materials define the footwear range of sneakers and FFrame court shoes. Wrap-around mask sunglasses embellished by crystal F-shaped FFreedom details and maxi hoop earrings in the shape of the FF logo complete the looks of the capsule.
For the time being, this collaboration with Minaj is a one-off, said Brunschwig, admitting however that “you never know about the future. Fendi is always thinking about the next project, but the focus is now on this.”
Asked about the artist’s recent decision to retire and focus on a family, he said “nothing will change” in terms of the collaboration. She’s obviously “free to do what she wants.” Minaj is frequently spotted at fashion shows and events and she attended the Fendi show in Milan last September.
The capsule also includes the men’s and kids’ categories, featuring the FF logo patterns and portraits of Minaj.
Fendi is launching the collections with images shot by Steven Klein.
The company has been investing in capsule collections recently, reaching out to a younger clientele. Examples include Fendi Mania, based on the Fendi/Fila logo created by Instagram artist @hey_reilly last year, or the Roma Amor capsule dropped in May, teaming with graffiti artist Pref, for a collection comprised of ready-to-wear and accessories for women, men and kids. At the same time, Fendi introduced Gentle Fendi sunglasses in a partnership with hot South Korean brand Gentle Monster. Last year, Fendi launched a capsule collection hinging on the brand’s storied FF logo first designed by Lagerfeld in 1965, standing for Fun Fur.
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