It has been a big year for Fendi, and not just because of the Fendi My Way watch. The Italian fashion house, whose name has been synonymous with luxury for ninety years, has a new home in Rome, coinciding perfectly with its ninetieth anniversary, and the fiftieth anniversary of iconic creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, building the brand.
As of October, the Fendi global headquarters are now housed in the breathtaking—though somewhat controversial—restored travertine masterpiece, Palazzo della Civilta Italiana. The “square colosseum,” as it is also known, was originally envisioned and commissioned by Benito Mussolini, though never occupied due to WWII.
Fendi chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari noted that the palazzo is about fifteen minutes from the airport, so it sets the visual tone for visitors coming to Rome. “It’s symbolic,” Beccari told Architectural Digest. “We’re not just Fendi—we’re Fendi Roma.” He went on to explain to WWD the significance of the space when it comes to designing the collections. “Karl made changes to his last collection after first working at the palazzo, whose arches ringed the runway theater for spring 2015 and also inspired his fall advertising campaign.”
Manifestations of that inspiration present themselves throughout the apparel, furs, bags, and watches. With the Fendi My Way watch, luxury combines with originality for an ultra-feminine timepiece that easily, and exquisitely, transitions from day to night, thanks to a detachable arctic fox fur “glamy” from the Fendi fur workshop.
Since its origins in 1925, the luxury label has always played with fur in its designs. But it wasn’t until 1988 that it began dabbling in timepieces, blending refined Italian style with expert Swiss craftsmanship. The result has been more than a quarter of a century of stunning creations, including today’s collections: Crazy Carats, Selleria, Chameleon, Momento Fendi, and Fendi My Way.