Kim Jones says they did it because, one, they wanted to do something fun, and, two, because the two brands love each other.
Yesterday in the Versace family palazzo in Milano, Fendi and Versace showcased collections created in a manner never done in the history of Milan, London, New York, and Paris Fashion Weeks.
Donatella Versace designed for Fendi while Silvia Venturini Fendi designed for Versace—it was heavily communicated to the public that the designs are not a collaboration of the two brands. Instead, it’s a “swap.”
Donatella serves as Versace’s chief creative officer, and Silvia is Fendi’s artistic director of accessories and menswear. Designer Kim Jones also played a prominent role in Fendi’s corner as their director of couture and womenswear.
Not a collaboration
The show was split into two segments titled “Versace by Fendi” and “Fendi by Versace.” However, since the show, the creative swap is known as “Fendace.”
While most high-end brands partner with companies from different industries (Gucci x Disney, Dior x Nike, Hermes x Apple, for example) to disrupt the market and catch the other brand’s key consumers, Jones argues that the Versace and Fendi swap didn’t strategize their partnership that way.
In contrast to other company’s usual business action plans, he tells Vogue that Silvia and Donatella’s goal was just to have fun.
“In February, after the ready-to-wear show, we came to dinner here with Donatella. Silvia and Donatella got on really well, and we thought it would be nice to have some fun. It was a design-off: we designed Versace, and she designed Fendi,” he says in the Vogue article. “Remember, [Fendi and Versace] are not in the same group: we’ve just done it as friends and out of respect for each other. It’s never been planned as a commercial thing.”
Jones adds that both Donatella and Silvia have never designed for other brands, which he shares make the project all the more special. “The reasons behind it were straightforward: we wanted to do something that was optimistic and fun as we return to live shows. And we wanted to do it because we love each other,” the artistic director shares.
Inspired by the archives
Donatella sourced her collection for Fendi from its archives, and so did Silvia for Versace. Knowing that it’s where the roots of where the showcases stem from, it seems that the designers weren’t looking through what’s trending in the luxury market today, but rather, the creative powerhouses wanted to convey the DNA of each other’s well-known brands.
To celebrate and support the “split” of the two Italian houses, front row were supermodels Gigi Hadid, Winnie Harlow, and actor Even Mock.
While the women donning the Fendace looks were arguably just as well known as Fendi and Versace themselves. These recognizable faces in the fashion industry were Naomi Campbell, Kristen McMenamy, Kate Moss, Emily Ratajkowski, Irina Shayk, and Amber Valletta.
Banner Photo from @Versace on Instagram.