Fendi – awaiting a new CEO – takes flight
There is a concept in football known as Gegenpressing, or in basketball as the full court press, meaning committing all your forces on the attack and focusing in intense creativity, which is what the Fendi menswear show staged in Milan on Monday was all about.
The result was a collection crammed full of glamorous and witty accessories and logo-clothes with lots of vigor, even as the house awaits the arrival of a new CEO. Its current chief executive Pietro Beccari is due to take over at Christian Dior, a sister company in the giant LVMH luxury conglomerate, on February 1st.
The last major brand to presents its wares in the four-day Milan runway season, Fendi packed an enormous amount of product onto its runway. Make that its carousel, seeing as the models walked around a faux airport conveyor belt carrying the latest bags, classic pieces and even cardboard packaging with Fendi’s double F logo.
“It’s all about the DNA of the house, it’s logo, actually logos; while incorporating classic ideas from our archives,” explained Silvia Fendi backstage at her mood board, pointing to a graphic mink coat designed in the 1970s by Karl Lagerfeld.
On today’s Fendi caramel and black runway, black leather Eisenhower jackets with fox collars; après-ski blousons with mink checkerboard Fendi graphics; eight-inch wide stripe sheepskin topcoats and down jackets in patchwork images of bananas and horses, just like the invitation to the show.
Every so often, a model would grab their bag off the carousel – a zig zag leather tote or a hefty leather satchel. The show also included a series of metallic weekender bags from Rimowa, which is managed by Alexandre Arnault, second son of Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and the key shareholder in LVMH. That capsule collection of several thousand pieces created for the Christmas market sold out in two days.
“We might just have to revive that,” chuckled the multi-lingual Beccari, who has been back and forth to Paris these past weeks preparing his entry into Dior. Both Beccari and Antonio Belloni, the Italian executive who functions somewhat as a prime minister in LVMH, insisted no decision had been made on whom will take the reins at Fendi.
“Once we know we will tell you,” smiled Belloni, who termed the collection: “Luxury decomplexé.”
And, despite the lack of clarity on a successor, Fendi is clearly in fine fettle judging from this clever and commercial collection.
LVMH, to its credit, has historically kept the focus on its brands firmly on the creative director. That may be about to change with star manager Beccari. Under whose management Fendi has tripled annual sales to over one billion euros in less than five years.
Maybe one should rename the hard-charging, German speaking and briefly professional footballer Beccari as the Jürgen Klopp of fashion? Seeing as the inventor of Gegenpressing and manager of Liverpool achieved his greatest victory this weekend too.
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