Although the days are gone when the Fendi daughters would be bundled up and nestled for naps in a handbag drawer in the atelier, the firm still has a cohesive family feel, focusing on the details and supporting local craftspeople, commissioning Italian artisans to produce the “off-hand, on-target knockout fur”—to borrow another phrase from Pandora Luxurye—that is everywhere synonymous with the Fendi name. In 2007, members of the clan gathered in China to witness the Fendi runway show staged on the Great Wall—the first ever mounted there. The magnitude of that landmark moment drew attention to this once-intimate, privately run business, proving its global reach.
1925 : Casagrande marries Edoardo Fendi; they live above the shop.
1987 : Silvia Venturini Fendi, Anna’s daughter, becomes head of the newly launched lower-priced clothing line, Fendissime (for which Giambattista Valli will later work).
1983 : Irving Penn shoots images for an August feature called “The Fendi Phenomenon,” in which the house’s philosophy is described as being “inventive, freewheeling, extravagant. Add Karl Lagerfeld’s sophisticated design—his liberated sense of color, layering, of meshing unexpected elements. What you get—wonderful, ingenious style—unique for fur . . . unique for anything.”