MILAN — Franca Fendi died Wednesday in Rome, aged 87.
She held retail responsibilities over the brand’s stores in Rome until the business was sold in 1999. 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, which is helmed by chairman and chief executive officer Serge Brunschwig.
Silvia Venturini Fendi is currently head of menswear and accessories at the company, while Kim Jones designs the womenswear and couture.
Franca Fendi no longer held a role at the company since the acquisition, unlike her sister Carla, who remained on the board as honorary president.
In 2001, Franca Fendi’s husband Luigi Formilli died a few years after she donated her kidney to her ailing partner, a diabetic, in 1996. Formilli was also very much involved in the business, holding various roles within the fashion house, overseeing all aspects of the business from production to distribution. He helped bring Fendi to the American market forging deals with department stores.
In 2018, Franca Fendi wrote her memoir titled “Sei Con Me,” or “You Are With Me” in English, the realization of which she credited to her grandchildren always begging her to tell tales about her life.
The book, published by Rizzoli, was punctuated by anecdotes about her private and business life, her relationship with her sisters and husband. “A feeling that transcends time, space and survives everything because within a volatile world of glitz and privileges as the reality I experience was, my true and only privilege for me was meeting you,” Fendi wrote, addressing her late husband.
She is survived by her four children Guido, Andrea, Luca and Federica, former creative director of the Fendissime line and now cofounder and lead of the Triple F vintage resale platform.