Fendi, an Italian luxury fashion house, was established in 1918 by Adele Casagrande who, was a young woman only 20 years old. The house began as a fur and leather shop based in central Rome, in Via del Plebiscito. Adele married Edoardo Fendi in 1925, and they decided to change the name of the business to Fendi. The pair lived above the shop and ran it very well. Their five daughters were all born there.
By 1965, one sister took over the business and decided to expand. Her first move was to hire Karl Lagerfeld. Adele was still the matriarch, and the sister had to respect her wishes. Largerfeld, however, designed the house logo, the now famous double F fun fur logo. 1965 was also the year the Fendi signature logo canvas print first appeared.
The main products were still fur and leather, and in 1969 the first ready to wear fur line appeared to join the custom made ones. The house really shot to fame when Sophia Loren was featured in the April 1972 Vogue with her Fendi leather bags. She claimed they were her favourite and that some had been specially made for her.
Following that appearance, Fendi furs and bags started appearing worn by famous models and actresses, including an appearance in Luchino Visconti’s film Conversation Piece. In 1977, the house expanded to include clothing other than fur to great success. In 1985, the house celebrated its 60th anniversary and a quarter of a century with Karl Lagerfeld by launching a fragrance at an exhibition in the Rome’s National Gallery of Modern art.
In 1997, Silvia Venturini Fendi, who had become the head of the leather goods and accessories section in the previous year, launched the baguette bag. This bag became the most famous and recognizable Fendi Designer bag. The name derives from the bag’s shape, long and narrow so that, just like its namesake, it can be snuggled under the armpit.
The baguette is not the last famous Fendi bag. In 2006, Lagerfeld designed the “hyper feminine” B. Fendi. In 2007 the extravagant Voodoo bag was launched, It was made of either feathers or wool. That was also the year when the house staged the only fashion show to date on the Great Wall of China. The show featured 88 models, half from China and the other half from the rest of the world, on an 88 meter catwalk. The reason for the very specific numbers are that the Chinese see the number 8 as a lucky one.
Today, Fendi is a fashion house famous for its style and quality. Their designs are stunning and extremely well crafted.