Fendi F/W 2016

Funny Fur

Men’s fashion shows can often fall, and fail, between being too dull and seriously tailored, or far too whimsical and weird.

Fendi this season was pure playfulness. Fur dressing gowns in gingham checks in sherbet colors or khaki spy coats with theatrical lambs wool patch pockets. Shearling backpacks were emblazoned with emoji like faces and cartoon designs; leather totes finished with peekaboo red leathers and eyes made of metal studs; satchels covered in graffiti clown faces; chokers in red fur boasting the Fendi logo.

Gingham check gown Fendi
A gingham check gown and furry slippers

“We wanted a sense of humor this season but with refined clothes,” said designer Silvia Fendi, chatting backstage. Full of fun yet very pricey – from the chocolate mink blazers and boleros to a sable town coat with yellow eye elbows. The cast’s hair as shaggy as the Yeti fox slippers they wore as they marched down a faux fur runway. Their entrance was a lime gold fur spiral staircase inspired by a Gio Ponti mid century classic design.

Fendi patches are everywhere Fendi
Logomania on the Fendi runway

The mood was unashamed indulgence at Fendi, a house whose remarkable recent sales growth – the house expects to break a billion euros in sales this year, driven by its wacky accessories – Monster fur baubles and mini crocodile key chains. “Being playful is an essential part of luxury,” stressed CEO Pietro Beccari, who has driven Fendi’s renaissance.

_FEN0264 Fendi
Fun accessories like crocodile key chains or backpacks with emojis

The audience was crammed with Chinese buyers and editors, who swarmed around the backstage area shooting selfies of each other and their Fendi silver backpacks from which dangled fur light bulbs.

Where many brands have suffered from the crackdown in corruption in China – and a subsequent decline in consumption in ostentatious spending on Western luxury, Fendi has surged ahead. At this show one could see why.