Italian luxury fur and leather brand Fendi has found ingenious ways to celebrate its 90th anniversary, some of them in London. After a spectacular show of Karl Lagerfeld-designed couture fur in its home city of Rome early last month, on a transparent catwalk (third picture) suspended over the waters of the vast Trevi Fountain (which has just been restored with Fendi sponsorship), and a lavish dinner in a historic palazzo, the focus now moves on – with a very special, limited-edition classic bag, a beautiful celebratory book and a surprising pop-up shop at Harrods, which starts on Thursday August 4 for a month and features Fendi’s quirky modern aspects for its younger fans.
Fendi’s Selleria leather technique goes back to its roots and is taken from traditional Roman saddlery, entailing very regular hand-stitching on soft leather, but here applied to the brand’s top-selling Peekaboo bag. This style is often a vehicle for adventurous colour mixes and finishes, but in the Peekaboo 90 Years (€6,500, first picture) the quality of the super-soft natural leather shines out along with the faultless “punto baseball” stitching, even larger and more defined than unusual and sewn through over 2,000 handmade holes. Only 60 are being made, sold solely through the brand’s Rome flagship.Also launching, in September, is Fendi Roma (about €185, second picture), published by Assouline in characteristic high-design style and looking at how closely the brand is associated with the Eternal City and how it has inspired Fendi’s growth from a small fur and leather workshop to a global luxury behemoth. More than 300 illustrations from Fendi’s archives illuminate chapters on the brand’s history and future plans, creativity and innovation, its love of femininity and its family dynasty, in a multicolour slipcase box and available from Fendi boutiques and top bookshops.The Harrods pop-up majors on one of Fendi’s most lighthearted and unexpected successes – its fur “bag bugs”. The lifesize Fendirumi mascots are based on kigurumi (Japanese pop-culture brightly coloured animal figures) and have inspired bag-bug-size fur versions (£1,200), which will be sold in the store from a traditional Italian three-wheeled market barrow. The bugs come in mink, fox and kidassia fur and are joined by crocodile bags (from £15,000) in exclusive colours, special Strap You variants (£600) and two limited-edition bugs, Har and Rods (from £500). It all “celebrates the fun in luxury fashion”, according to Harrods’ fashion director Helen David, and many of the store’s summer visitors will surely agree.