“Fendi in Australia just wouldn’t make sense”, is a sentiment I have heard among some of the fashion conscious over here. And by fashion conscious, I don’t mean the wannabes on Instagram who feign some sort of interest in the fashion industry to have their 15 seconds of fame. You probably know them too. They are the types that regurgitate the same material that everyone else is posting, wear rip offs of the designer labels and pretend to be big shots. In reality though, their attitude and generic sense of style show that they have no real appreciation.
The ones worth listening to are often the unknown heroes who treat fashion as a religion, and the star designers as gods. The sort of people that would risk their academic status to live stream a Dior fashion show in the middle of class and probably not care about the consequences if they were caught. These to me are the individuals who can make an intelligent statement about high-end luxury as they have a genuine appreciation that goes beyond having to impress thousands of followers or having to keep up superficial appearances. Whether they can afford it or not is irrelevant, because they will live, breathe and appreciate it anyway. They have an in depth understanding for the art form, however most importantly of all, learning about the industry fuels their soul and is a passion that keeps them happy. This makes their opinions above all else worth listening to.
In true me style, I have realized that yet again I have become consumed with my thoughts and have not entirely stayed on topic. It’s just, that when Fendi announced their intentions to launch officially in Australia I instantly thought about the reasons why their presence over here would not make sense. First of all, being the most distinguished furrier in the world, their coats, jackets and various other articles of fur apparel would not suit the climate of Australia. We simply do not have the kind of winters that Europeans face and are lucky even in Melbourne to get into the minuses. How would a house renowned for its fur survive in a young Australian market? However a lot has changed with Fendi (and the buying of luxury in Australia) in what seems to be a blink of an eye.
While Gucci has been lapping up all the attention and glory and largely overshadowing Fendi for the limelight, the former has confidently been making big waves in its own right. Fendi is having a huge fashion moment, and it is only a matter of time before everyone catches on.
Venturing into the realm of bag accessories, like the popular charms and “Strap You” range, has arguably brought this fashion house into the spotlight. Customization, you see, appeals to everyone, and these fun, beautifully made products entice a wider audience. The fashionistas who cannot afford some of the pricier bags or RTW items will instead invest in a cute fluffy Karlito or Piro-Chan. These products not only help to attract a new type of audience, they also combat a slowdown in luxury goods sales by enticing more people into store. This exposes even more consumers to the dream, which is an important long-term business strategy.
For example, that uni student who saved for her first Fendi bag bug charm may not be able to afford an exotic peekaboo right now, but she leaves the store with a lasting impression. Years down the track when she’s a successful lawyer at the top of her field, you can bet your bottom dollar that she will be back to buy that illustrious peekaboo, and maybe even a beautifully crafted piece of RTW. Most people buy emotionally, so that initial relationship with a brand during one’s youth should never be underestimated.
Furthermore, with the rise of social media and how instantly available and generic luxury items appear to have become, Fendi’s move is ingenious. While many people can own a bag strap or Fendi monster, there is a certain freedom with these items that allows the buyer to use and style them in their own unique way. It is said that millennials crave to be individuals, wanting a unique look to differentiate them from the rest. This in my opinion has been borne from social media where even the rarest of items are broadcasted and are destined to become the mundane and the ordinary. Instagram has become a hub for being bombarded with boring blue jean birkin after birkin, so Fendi has intelligently read the market and catered to people’s desires by providing options. The millennials have spoken and Fendi has delivered!
The old Fendi quite honestly wouldn’t have been successful in the Australian market. The new Fendi however is a completely different story. The house has gained momentum and the company’s progressive vision means that it could not have arrived at a better time. With a strong range of fun, customizable accessorizes and carefully curated RTW pieces, its short stint in Australia has already proven to be a hit. According to CEO Pietro Beccari, Fendi’s “ready-to-wear creations are performing very well — we are rapidly running out of stock.” He also concedes that the Italian house is “a bit late, to be honest” to make it onto the Australian luxury scene.
I personally believe that the huge emphasis on fur accessories is a great move for the Fendi brand moving forward. It addresses the initial dilemma of making fur work for our Australian climate, as a house so deeply intertwined with this art form must honor its heritage. Fendi without fur would be like Chanel without tweed. An old fashion house rich in history after all can never turn its back on tradition. Now with fun fur products that cater to a wide audience and are wearable in all climates, Fendi makes complete sense. They can showcase their expertise with fur, yet still cater to our weather conditions and young luxury market.
I feel privileged and blessed to have attended the inauguration celebrations of Fendi’s arrival to Australia with my dear friend Whitney and of course Mr Mochi. My deepest regret was leaving my phone in the Uber and thus arriving late, missing out on meeting Silvia Venturini Fendi and Pietro Baccari the CEO. However for me, it was special enough being there and ticking off the lifetime experience of seeing the FendRumi in real life and even getting a picture with them. It definitely was a magical night at the Sydney Westfield boutique and one I'll look back on with fond memories. I hope you enjoy Mr Mochi’s photography of this momentous occasion, @world_wide_whitney 's guest appearance and my editing of the pictures and writing.
Adrianna is wearing
Adrianna has styled her Fendi wave culottes, Flowerland belt, embellished peekaboo and Bug Kun charm with a Zara bodysuit.