ROME — Fendi is launching a new digital platform and communication project to speak to the elusive Millennial generation.
To guarantee authenticity, the web site, called “F is for…,” is conceived by Fendi employees in that same age bracket.
“We’ve seen many young people approach us, and we want to be appealing to them even more through an authentic vehicle,” said chairman and chief executive officer Pietro Beccari. “It’s a platform where they can exchange ideas, it offers a point of view that is inclusive, calling for fresh input.”
Mobile-first, “F is for…” will appear on fendi.com starting Feb. 6. The Rome-based luxury company will celebrate the launch with a party for Millennials in New York on Feb. 10 at Fulton Market Building. The event is pegged as the “First-Ever Fashion Music TV-Show,” and as a new experimental live experience with performances by Chinese singers Bohan Phoenix, Howie Lee and Meuko!Meuko!; up-and-coming singer Abra; South Korean singer Jenny FTS with rapper Keith Ape; Miso; Metro Boomin playing with 21 Savage; Lil Uzi Vert; Migos and DJ sets by the Welsh DJ, producer and DJ Award winner Jamie Jones with the South Korean, Berlin-based artist Peggy Gou. Customized and perfumed T-shirts will be gifted for the occasion.
“The idea,” said Cristiana Monfardini, worldwide communication director, who masterminded the project, “is to share the Millennials’ vision of The New Rome, keeping a distance from stereotypes of the city and offering a different perspective and a new language.”
“F is for…” is divided in sections named Freaks, Fulgore, Faces, Freedom and Fearless.
Freaks lays out the site’s manifesto, while Fulgore offers fashion editorials, all with a link to Rome and featuring models that are all Millennials, wearing new Fendi collections mixed with vintage pieces, such as a T-shirt from Karl Lagerfeld from the Eighties. The photos are all taken with an iPhone 7. “We want to capture the moments as they are without being perfect,” Monfardini explained. For this reason, the models pose freely, without striking a pose and there are no retouches or post-production, so that the images are not polished or glamorous.
Faces hinges on inspiring individuals and Freedom maps out different experiences and places around the world, including clubs, bars and restaurants, but “not of the five-star kind, they are special and unconventional,” she observed.
Fearless is a creative outlet that allows to access music, art and culture. Artists can tap in to request to perform live on the rooftop of Fendi’s Palazzo della Civiltà headquarters in Rome.
“F is for…” will be part of the fendi.com. While declining to provide financial details, Beccari said he was “very happy” with Fendi’s online business. The company has just opened up to Switzerland, in addition to the existing markets in Europe, Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. Fendi.com counts 20 million visitors and the brand has 6.5 million Instagram followers.
In terms of brick-and-mortar, the company will add a store in Sydney in March. A boutique opened in Dallas earlier this week, and Beccari said there are plans to open in San Francisco and New York’s SoHo area this year. “The U.S. is a focus,” the executive said.
Beccari waved away potential concerns following the elections. “What matters is what we can do, we must go beyond [the controversies surrounding President Donald Trump] and we must work to be more creative,” rather than focus on politics, he said.