The Fendis on family, fragrance and future direction

by Admin
The Fendis on family, fragrance and future direction

Fendi is undergoing a bit of a shake-up. Not only is it sitting out Haute Couture week in Paris in June, an executive reshuffle is also on the way: the brand’s chief executive of six years, Serge Brunschwig, is transitioning to a new, soon-to-be-announced role at parent company LVMH; taking his place at Fendi is Pierre-Emmanuel Angeloglou, who will also retain his current role as managing director of LVMH’s Fashion Group (the division that houses brands including Pucci, Kenzo, Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs).

But as questions swirl around Fendi’s future direction amid the broader changes at LVMH, Silvia Venturini Fendi, a third-generation member of the Fendi family and also artistic director of accessories, menswear and kidswear, is keen for the company’s 100th anniversary, officially happening next year, not to be overshadowed.

Her line of sight, she tells the Financial Times, speaking from Fendi’s headquarters in Rome, is short. “If you have an idea, you need to do it immediately because fashion changes so quickly. It [requires us] to live in the moment. If you look at our history and the things we have done, it proves that we are always open to new ventures,” she says, referring to recent sold-out collaborations with game franchise Pokémon and Hiroshi Fujiwara’s streetwear label Fragment.

Fendi is launching seven fragrances priced at €300 . . . 
An orange rectangular bottle with black lid on top of a shiny orange surface. In the background is a shiny arch-shaped orange wall
. . . which are entirely manufactured in house for the first time

“And for the moment, we have this celebration.” The celebration that Venturini Fendi is referring to is Fendi’s new line of seven fragrances, unveiled over a two-day event last week in Rome. The launch creates a new entry point for customers who, she notes, have already expressed clear interest in fragrances. And Fendi won’t stop there. “I think beauty, including fragrances and makeup and skincare, is so important today, so relevant, and I think it’s gonna be great too. But let’s see, let’s start with [perfume].”

Fendi is LVMH’s fourth-biggest fashion brand, according to HSBC estimates, with revenues deriving predominantly from accessories and leather goods, analysts say (it was Venturini Fendi who designed the 1997 Baguette that is widely considered as one of the world’s first “it” bags). Yet it is one of the last remaining LVMH-owned houses that does not sell beauty, making it an anomaly among peers such as Loewe, which launched its first perfume in the 1970s, and Celine, which reintroduced fragrance in 2019 and launched its first cosmetics line in March.

Previously, the Italian brand licensed out scents such as Fendi by Fendi, L’Acquarossa and Fan di Fendi. “[They] were also very successful but we stopped [them] over time,” Venturini Fendi says, declining to comment on when they ceased production. Its latest move into beauty marks “a new chapter” for Fendi, as its new €300 fragrances are manufactured entirely in-house, without the help of a larger manufacturing partner such as L’Oréal or Estée Lauder.

An open dark-patterned rectangular box with a strip of gold around all edges. There are two gold locks which are on the open lid. The tops of three multi-coloured bottles can be seen inside the lower half of the box
A discovery set which allows customers to try on different Fendi fragrances

The beauty and fragrance sector is packed with offerings from specialists such as Coty and Interparfums and an ever-growing pool of celebrity and influencer brands. Still, the category continues to be attractive to luxury executives because of its resilience in economic downturns. The super premium beauty and personal care sector is expected to grow 6 per cent from $58mn in 2023 to $61.6mn in 2024, according to Euromonitor International.

When it comes to beauty, a majority of luxury brands still work with an external partner or parent company. Armani, Valentino and Prada have signed with L’Oréal; Tom Ford and Balmain operate under Estée Lauder; Paco Rabanne and Dries Van Noten are run by Puig; and Gucci, Burberry and Marc Jacobs are licensed to Coty.

But a growing number of companies, including Chanel, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana and LVMH-owned Louis Vuitton, Dior and Celine, handle their own beauty product development and manufacturing. Luxury groups Richemont and Kering also recently launched new beauty divisions with the aim of scaling fragrance among other products. Fendi joins this crowd: its new perfumes will only be distributed through its retail network via physical stores and ecommerce, from June 20. Going into it alone can be an expensive and intricate process. But if navigated properly, the financial reward can be significant.

“It is never too late for a luxury brand to develop its beauty segment, provided that the product line is coherent with the overall brand image and ethos and it has a distinctive point of view,” says Mario Ortelli, managing partner of Ortelli&Co, a strategic and M&A advisory firm for luxury companies. “If well executed, it gives the opportunity to reach a wider consumer base with attractive price points without diluting brand equity,” he adds.

The Fendis are betting on personal nostalgia and relatable memories to resonate with customers — an approach that Celine’s artistic director Hedi Slimane and Victoria Beckham have also taken with their recent fragrance launches. Created with the expertise of perfumers Quentin Bisch, Fanny Bal and Anne Flipo, each Fendi scent was “conceived with a loved one in mind,” says Delfina Delettrez Fendi, daughter of Venturini Fendi and artistic director of jewellery. 

La Baguette, for example, designed to resemble a lazy Sunday with its floral and vanilla notes, was inspired by Delettrez Fendi’s twin children, while Sempre Mio, made of bergamot, cedarwood and orange blossom, reflects her memories of the Ourika valley and Atlas foothills, just outside Marrakech, a place where the designer feels that she belongs (she is part Moroccan). 

With Prima Terra, which features tangerine, rosemary and oak moss, Kim Jones, artistic director of womenswear and haute couture, took inspiration from Southern and Eastern Africa, where he grew up. “Ideas stemmed from chats about childhood memories and the things close to our hearts,” he says.

An orange-coloured rectangular bottle with black shiny lid stands in the centre with an orange rose and two oranges on one side of it and two leaves on the other
The fragrances are inspired by nostalgia and relatable memories . . . 
A yellow-coloured rectangular bottle with black shiny lid with a yellow bag with silver clasp in the background
 . . . and will be sold exclusively through Fendi’s own retail channels

Each of the simple rectangular bottles comes in a pastel hue — a reflection of the Roman sunset, the designers say. “We wanted something very clean, something that represented Rome but also something that represented Fendi now,” Jones elaborates.

In addition to a full-sized 100ml bottle, the brand will sell a discovery set, also priced at €300, allowing customers to try all seven fragrances in 10ml formats at the price of one. Fendi has also created a miniature leather charm case, €290, that allows the wearer to carry the scent with them.

Are the Fendis confident that something so intimately personal to them will resonate on a global scale? “You can never be sure,” admits Venturini Fendi, who created the French and spicy scent Perché No, which translates to “why not?” to express her personal mantra. But she hopes its “clean, reposing and calming” qualities will appeal to the brand’s fans. 

“You know when there is [something] that you love. You don’t know why; you cannot give yourself a reason, but you feel emotional the moment something clicks. It moves something inside,” she says. “And that’s what we want [people] to feel.”

Find out about our latest stories first — follow @financialtimesfashion on Instagram — and subscribe to our podcast Life and Art wherever you listen

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.