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Fendi Spring/Summer 2025 Men’s
Fendi Spring/Summer 2025 menswearCourtesy of Fendi

How Fendi’s Menswear Show Referenced Its Near 100-Year History

What was interesting about Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2025 men’s show was how the old could look new, and how the new could have a distinct foothold in tradition, writes Alexander Fury

Lead ImageFendi Spring/Summer 2025 menswearCourtesy of Fendi

Fendi turns 100 next year, which has sent Silvia Venturini Fendi into an archival mood, investigating the background and origins of the luxury house that bears her family name for her latest menswear collection. “I wasn’t there in 1925,” she deadpanned backstage. Nevertheless, she was there in 1966, when she was just five years old and featured in one of the brand’s fashion shows – something that tied her to the company, and to fashion, for life. “After that, school was so boring,” she declared.

The notion of heritage was lightly imprinted on her Spring/Summer 2025 menswear show. “After 100 years of activity, we have become a kind of aristocracy of fashion,” she comments. Then, checked herself. “A working-class aristocracy.” So, fittingly, she invented a fantasy heraldic Fendi fashion crest, featuring four Fendi symbols: the FF logo (obviously); a two-tone brown stripe motif that Fendi made a killing within the logomaniacal 1970s; the double-faced god Janus, looking backwards and forwards, which former creative Karl Lagerfeld allied to the creative outlook of the house; and a squirrel. That relates to a nickname her grandfather Edoardo Fendi had for his wife and co-founder Adele given the speed of her work, and in the early years of Fendi it was an emblem used on stationary, and on a metal sign above the shop door, which Venturini Fendi discovered in the cavernous company archives.

That said, the rest of the collection was not particularly a spin on the archives, bar the omnipresence of the Selleria stitch, a technique of sewing passed to the Fendi’s by Roman master saddlers and inspired by the horses Adele Fendi saw passing by her first store on Rome’s Via del Plebiscito some 99 years ago. Rather, Venturini Fendi alighted on the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris – that lengthy title later coining the term ‘Art Deco’. But rather than examining harsh lines and angular modernist design, Venturini Fendi drew her inspiration from the globe-trotting within that show, to showcase muted Madras checks and Japanese Boro techniques mixed up with shorts and overcoats detailed with that thick riding whipstitch. 

Even with those backwards nods, there was modernity in the cutting – the forward-looking face of that Janus motif. Shorts and trousers were layered, lines slicing across their knees and matched by the same on short-sleeved shirts, polos were twisted to open diagonally, cutting graphically across the chest. The colour palette was light and powdery – Space 2001, or slightly unfaded with time. Which was an interesting thing about this collection – how the old could look new, and how the new could have a distinct foothold in heritage and tradition. “Preserving techniques, but experimenting,” is how Venturini Fendi put it. “We’re entering another century.”