What’s in a name? What’s in a logo? Silvia Venturini Fendi pondered these questions as she put together this breezy collection with a streetwear twist — and a load of dark arts motifs like demons and snakes. She continued her collaboration streak, too, working with the Italian artist Nico Vascellari, whose work embodies darkness and light, peace and turmoil.
Vascellari shook up the brand’s logo — turning Fendi into “Fiend,” and Roma into “Amor” — and creating the sinister motifs that Fendi splashed across fluid boxy shirts, lightweight bomber jackets and leather handbags. He also created the neon stage set that flashed with flying devils, alchemy-like formulas and crowns.
“It’s a collection that’s really about the identity of the Fendi man and the rules that belong to the Fendi DNA. We’re working continuously on reusing the codes from Fendi’s history in a different way,” she said, adding that the Roma anagram really captured the spirit of the collection. “’Roma’ and ‘Amor’ is like the demon and the saints, hell and paradise. In Rome, you have the saints — but you also have the sins.”
Fendi said she wanted the collection to be all about opposites: Featherweight and heavy, rich and humble, dark and light, and the result balanced the luxe with the cool. Leather and suede jackets — and even polo shirts — were perforated to lighten up their weight, something the designer has made a signature, while others were printed with sporty, lightning bolt stripes across the front and an anorak had “Fiend” emblazoned across the back.
In a nod to modernity — and simplicity — Fendi rolled FF logo tape onto the seams of waterproof coats and made clothes from paper — actually Tyvek — the crinkly fabric that’s more at home on a building site than a Milanese catwalk. She worked it into bombers and trousers with a new, chubbier — and almost cartoonish — FF logo and into jazzy check suits that were paired with loafer/sandal hybrids with treads on the soles. Other suit jackets were black and sheer, with devilish red shirts layered under them, while cowboy styles were pieced together from suede and transparent perforated fabric.
Accessories, too, took a sportier turn — and showcased the anagrams and Vascellari and Fendi symbols to full effect, as in a shopper with a diagonal racing-stripe pattern and black patch that read “Roma Fendi Amor” in vertical lettering. Leather bags, meanwhile, were crawling with a new, repeating FF forked snake pattern.
Good? Bad? Naughty? Nice? Whatever the man’s mood, this collection was all-round great — no duality there — and further proof that Fendi has the guts to tear its icons apart — and shuffle them around — to keep its DNA fresh.