Fendi Men’s Spring 2025: Checks and Balances for the 100th Birthday

Front-row guests at Fendi’s spring men’s show arrived at its new Milan show venue, Super Studio Maxi, and took their seats on black benches lined up behind slightly taller black beam barriers.

Their purpose became clear when the six giant mirrored monoliths in the center of the vast show space stirred to life and began gliding and spinning, adding a dazzling, kinetic backdrop to Silvia Venturini Fendi’s terrific men’s collection — youthful and easy to like with its sly preppy undercurrent.

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As the Roman house gears up for its centenary in 2025, Venturini Fendi has been trawling through the archives and happened upon a squirrel emblem her grandmother used for packaging and Fendi’s first store. She also found a 1984 photo of the Italian national football team at the airport, looking dapper in crested blazers, trenchcoats and checks, FF-logo weekenders plunked at their feet.

She was inspired to develop a crest that incorporated the squirrel and other brand icons from over the years, which gave a school uniform vibe to blazers and sweaters worn over shorts by her youthful cast with their gangly legs.

“I wanted to do a very light collection, and give a kind of easiness,” she said, rattling off summery fabrics like cotton and silk.

Since Fendi’s founding year coincided with the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, she decided to pluck elements from other countries, including Madras from India, and the Japanese boro technique, which yielded a mesmerizing jeans jacket and shorts with a distressed, abstracted version of checks — one of the big print stories emerging for spring.

From Italy, she played with the Selleria stitch, a technique transposed from Roman saddle makers when the Fendi family set up its first workshop for bags and fur. It came as a broken pinstripe on summer suits, and as another way to subtly etch more checks, on a flaring chocolate brown suede coat, or an oversize black linen camp shirt and trousers for a casual, pajama-like take on formalwear.

The crisp, light fabrics, and the untucked breeziness of it all were very compelling, tethered to sophisticated, powdery colors in lovely combinations or monochromatic layers.

Eccentricities included asymmetric closures on shirts and sweaters that left collarbones and shoulders exposed, and sleeves slashed at the elbow, which could be worn with the arms poking through, giving an offbeat proportion to overcoats, suit jackets and shirts.

In case you were wondering, Fendi menswear dates back to 1990. Venturini Fendi joined the design studio in 1994 at the invitation of her grandmother and Karl Lagerfeld, its longtime designer of women’s ready-to-wear and furs.

“Karl didn’t have time and he didn’t want to do men’s, but he also didn’t want Fendi to have another designer at all,” she said, emphasizing the last two words and flashing a knowing smile. “So they said I could do it, with whatever I had around the studio. It was 1997.”

That said, Venturini Fendi traces her first exposure to fashion to age 6, when she was invited by Lagerfeld to be part of a photo shoot around one of his first collections. Needless to say, the experience left a big impression.

“I didn’t want to study, I didn’t want to go to school. I just wanted to be there where the action was,” she said. “That’s the moment where I started to absorb and look at what they were doing, and I said I want to be part of that. That was the moment I felt the adrenaline of fashion.”

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Launch Gallery: Fendi Spring 2025 Men's Ready-to-Wear Collection

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