Replicating the practices of Roman master saddlers, the Selleria collection was first created in 1925 by the original Fendi, Adele Casagrande. The series of bags was a demonstration of the house’s commitment to handmade artisan products, with each piece of leather uniquely treated and stitched by hand. Adele went onto have five daughters (Paola, Franca, Carla, Anna and Alda), who would in turn transform the Fendi label into a revolutionary brand, pushing the boundaries in how fur is both used and perceived, stamping it with their signature double ‘F’ logo.
"Adele Fendi went onto have five daughters (Paola, Franca, Carla, Anna and Alda), who would in turn transform the Fendi label into a revolutionary brand..."
A female fashion dynasty, the five Fendi sisters each took on a difference sector of the family business, driving it into the international spotlight. Touching stories of the Fendi sisters spin through fashion history, such as the memory of five daughters napping in handbag drawers in the atelier, or Silvia collecting stray pins from the workshop floor with a magnet on a ribbon as a small child. They would frequently be mistaken for orphans on their family holidays, as their mother insisted in dressing them in black and navy, insisting that, even as children, they must be à la mode. Anna was considered the most creative while Carla was the most organised, affectionately nicknamed “The General.” Karl Lagerfeld is often referred to as the sixth Fendi child.
The Fendi sisters went on to have eleven children between them, and thirty grandchildren. In 1999 LVMH became the sole owner of Fendi, and today only Silvia remains actively involved in the house. For 2013, as a tribute to her family legacy, Silvia has reintroduced the Selleria collection with 8 news bags; five models named after the original Fendi sisters, one after Adele and the iconic Baguette and Peekaboo.
Discover more about the Selleria collection at the newly re-launched Fendi.com.
Text by Mhairi Graham