MILAN — Fendi begins the new year under a major question mark.
Pietro Beccari will leave his role as chairman and chief executive officer of the Rome-based house in February to assume the helm of Christian Dior Couture and has been helping to find his successor — who will have big shoes to fill. At Dior, Beccari faces big shoes of his own — he will succeed Sidney Toledano, who will take over as executive chairman of LVMH Fashion Group as part of a wide-ranging reshuffle at parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Beccari helped propel Fendi beyond the billion-euro revenue mark by dropping its ubiquitous logo bags in favor of more upscale products, in addition to developing lifestyle destinations like Palazzo Fendi in Rome, composed of a boutique hotel and Zuma restaurant.
The executive, 50, speaks fluent French, English and German, is married and has three daughters. Affable, eloquent and driven, he has elevated the luxury quotient of Fendi and its overall perception, emphasizing its links to the city of Rome with a deeper focus on its fur roots and its craftsmanship. Fendi’s target customer has grown more sophisticated and younger during this process.
Beccari masterminded the restoration of the company’s headquarters at the stately Palazzo della Civiltà, opening the ground floor to the city as an exhibition space. Since 2015, more than 100,000 visitors have flocked to the venue, from young university students and families to tourists.
He has also invested in Fendi’s promotion of the arts, most recently inking a partnership with the Rome-based art museum Galleria Borghese.
Beccari has spearheaded several initiatives to reinforce the relationship between Fendi and Rome, including the restoration of several fountains in the city, including the Trevi Fountain, where a spectacular Haute Fourrure show marking the brand’s 90th anniversary was held last July. The show was a first for the Baroque monument, with a catwalk placed on the water and the closure of four neighboring streets on a busy summer day.
“I refuse to look at projects that are not ambitious enough,” Beccari said at the time. “We must think big. Surprise me.”
In his period at Fendi, Beccari has forged strong ties with Karl Lagerfeld, the brand’s longtime star designer, and Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Beccari joined Fendi from Louis Vuitton in 2012, succeeding Michael Burke in another LVMH reshuffle and market sources speculate the French group could once again be eyeing a move from within, and Dior Homme president Serge Brunschwig is seen as a contender. At the same time, Saint Laurent ceo Francesca Bellettini has also been approached, according to sources.