FENDI HAS finally moved house. After announcing in July 2013 that it will establish its future headquarters at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (the Palace of the Italian Civilisation), the Italian luxury fashion house has now moved to the monumental building located in Rome. The move also coincides with the completion of a large-scale restoration project that Fendi is sponsoring to renovate Rome’s most famous fountains, including the Trevi Fountain.
The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, also called the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro (Building to the Civilization of Work), is a monumental building located in the EUR area in Rome. It was built at the end of the 1930s by the architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano, and was supposed to be the entrance door to this new area of the city. This building is decorated with 28 statues on its four facades, each representing the arts and crafts of the Italian people, such as craftsmanship, work, philosophy, commerce, industry, archeology, history, the inventor genius, architecture, law, sculpture, the genius of theatre, press, medicine, geography, the genius of poetry, painting.
On top of each façade, appears, in fact, the famous phrase: “Un popolo di poeti di artisti di eroi/di santi di pensatori di scienziati/di navigator di transmigratori (A population of poets, of artists, of heroes/of saints, of thinkers, of scientists/of navigators and transmigrators)”.
Commenting on the move, Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO, Fendi, says: “It is through a strong sharing of common values that our interest towards Palazzo della Civiltà was born. This building embodies Italian excellence and Fendi is about savoir faire, craftsmanship, expressed through our artisans and our in-house fur atelier. Furthermore, this building compared to Palazzo Fendi will be in a continuous dialogue between modernity and traditions, elements that characterise the fashion house.”
The project includes a 1,000-sq-m exhibition space on the first floor—it will host exhibitions—open to the public for the first time to celebrate creativity and craftsmanship of the Italian genius.
As per Beccari, it was very important for Fendi to give back to the city of Rome, the city where the brand was founded and that has given the fashion house so much through all these years. “We are very tied to the city, we recently also added ‘Roma’ to our logo,” he adds.
The relationship between Fendi and the fountains of the eternal city dates back to 1977 with Histoire d’Eau, an 18-minute movie shot in 1977 by Jacques de Bascher to present the first ready-to-wear collection by Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi. The restoration work on the Trevi Fountain began in June 2014 and is being carried out in several phases.
The first phase of the Trevi fountain restoration work has been just completed and the Oceano statue has been unveiled after just nine months from the start of restoration work. “The restoration of the complex of the ‘Quattro Fontane’ has just been completed and we are very proud to have brought this complex to its original splendour and await the end of the restoration of the Trevi Fountain next semester,” Beccari elaborates.
Meanwhile, Beccari says, Fendi is aiming at reaching out to a younger audience, capture the young, cool and fresh, while maintaining exclusivity and desirability of the brand. Coming to India, Beccari says the country is a market that shares its love for heritage, craftsmanship and luxury.
“India has panned out very well for us. An Indian customer is well-travelled and well exposed. What really catches their attention is the detailing and craftsmanship. Our iconic bag collections, our leather goods, Selleria lines have specifically worked quite well. The made-to-order service has captured a very sophisticated and extremely refined audience,” he adds.