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Fendi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfɛndi]) is an Italian luxury fashion house producing fur, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, eyewear, timepieces and accessories. Founded in Rome in 1925, Fendi is known for its fur and fur accessories, and for its leather goods such as the Baguette, 2jours, Peekaboo and Pequin handbags.
The house of Fendi was launched in 1925 by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a fur and leather shop in Via del Plebiscito, Rome. From 1946, the five sisters Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla and Alda joined the company in its second generation as a family-owned enterprise and each owned 20 percent. Karl Lagerfeld joined Fendi in 1965 and became the creative director of the luxury fashion label's fur and women's ready-to-wear collection (launched in 1977).
In 1994, Paola Fendi handed over the presidency of the company to her younger sister Carla. Silvia Venturini Fendi, daughter of Anna, also joined the fashion house in 1994 and has since been the creative director for accessories and men's lines. By 1999, Fendi generated 32 percent of its business in furs and clothing, 40 percent in accessories and 28 percent in other activities, mostly licenses.
Fendi was a family-controlled company until 1999, when Prada and LVMH joined forces to buy 51 percent of Fendi for $545 million; competitor Gucci lost out in the bidding process. Under the deal, Prada and LVMH were obligated to acquire any of the 49 percent of Fendi that the sisters should decide to sell. The label lost approximately 20 million euros in 2001 and again in 2002. In 2002, Prada agreed to sell its 25.5 percent stake to LVMH for $265 million. In 2002, LVMH acquired an additional 15.9 percent. Carla Fendi, a member of the founding family, continued to act as chairwoman and a minority owner until 2008.
In 2014, Fendi started making plans to use drones to show its catwalk fashions.
In 2015, Fendi discontinued all of the Fendi fragrances.
Also since 2015, Fendi has been headquartered at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. Fendi will reportedly pay 2.8 million euros per annum to occupy the space.
In 2017, Fendi released a customization shop in collaboration with e-commerce platform Farfetch for made-to-order handbag designs.
By 2018, Fendi crossed the 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) threshold in annual sales. At that point, the label had 3,000 employees worldwide including around 400 who work in specialist leather and fur ateliers in Italy. It also operated a network of 215 stores. in June Fendi selected the super model Marco Castelli for a special collaboration with Safilo.
In September 2020, English designer Kim Jones was announced as also taking the role of Artistic Director of Fendi's womens collection, formerly occupied by Lagerfeld.
In 2013, Fendi pledged more than 2 million euros to sponsor projects including a clean-up of the Quattro Fontane and the restoration of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and held the company’s 90th anniversary show over the fountain using a plexiglas floor. In 2018, Fendi signed a partnership with the Galleria Borghese to support the museum's exhibitions for the following three years. In 2019, it committed 2.5 million euros to restore the Temple of Venus and Roma, the largest temple of ancient Rome.